Raptors guard Malachi Flynn named East's Rookie of the Month for April

William Lou
·NBA reporter
·2 min read

Toronto Raptors point guard Malachi Flynn was named the NBA's Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for April, while Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves won West honors.

Flynn was thrust into prominence over the past month with the Raptors resting veterans Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, and guided the Raptors to a respectable 8-7 record despite several starters being out. Flynn averaged 12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 28 minutes per game, and while his performances were sometimes erratic, Flynn posted career-highs in assists (11), points (22), and steals (4).

The Raptors selected Flynn 29th overall in the 2020 NBA draft after Flynn led San Diego State to a 30-2 record before their season was halted by COVID-19. Flynn didn't initially factor into the rotation with the Raptors having an excess of depth in the backcourt. He was assigned to the G-League, which helped him gain his confidence and adjust to the professional game, and Flynn earned himself an early call-up after six games thanks to his averages of 21 points and six assists.

After a slow start to his career, Flynn has been exactly as advertised. He is a pass-first guard who can get his own basket, and is a defensively-sound guard who rarely gets bullied despite being undersized at 6-foot-1. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has praised Flynn many times over the past month, crediting the rookie for showing growth in every area of his game since being drafted last November. 

The 22-year-old becomes the first Raptors player to win Rookie of the Month since Norman Powell in 2016, when Powell averaged 15 points per game including 30 in the final game of the regular season before emerging in the playoffs as an unlikely hero.

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