Darius Garland makes his ROTY pick after gifting Brandon Miller his jersey

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland recently gifted Charlotte Hornets wing Brandon Miller his jersey and then called him the Rookie of the Year on social media.

Miller posted on his Instagram to show the jersey that Garland gave him, and the Cavs guard didn’t hesitate to send the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft some love by reposting the photo on his story.

Darius Garland and Brandon Miller

The Cavs recently played the Hornets on Monday, March 25, and the two teams will face off again on Wednesday night in Charlotte.

Miller had a strong showing against Cleveland on Monday, scoring 24 points on 8-for-18 shooting from the field (3-for-8 from 3-point range) while adding eight rebounds and three assists.

That performance may have impressed Garland, who is making quite the statement by picking Miller over San Antonio Spurs star big man Victor Wembanyama and Oklahoma City Thunder big man Chet Holmgren in the Rookie of the Year race.

Wembanyama, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, is having a great rookie season, averaging 20.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals and a league-high 3.4 blocks per game.

He and Miller are both playing on rebuilding teams that are well out of the playoff picture this season, but Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft (missed all of last season due to injury, making him a rookie this season) is playing on the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are contenders.

The Gonzaga University product is averaging 16.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.4 blocks per game.

While Miller may not have the defensive numbers that Holmgren and Wembanyama do, he has proven that he can be a leading scorer for a struggling Charlotte team. Overall this season, Miller is averaging 16.8 points per game while shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from beyond the arc.

It appears that the future is bright for the young forward, and Garland is certainly giving him some more confidence to play with the rest of this season.

The Cavs are looking to inch closer to the No. 2 seed in the East on Wednesday. The team is currently two games back of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Cleveland and Charlotte are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. EST.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.