As somewhat expected, Michael Carter-Williams has been named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, topping Victor Oladipo who finished second.
Carter-Williams won the argument based on his “counting stats” which were very impressive considering he was the key player on a team with very little else around him and he played on a team that had the fastest pace in the league. It also did not help that Oladipo was largely playing a new position and had to contend with other veterans for shots. This award was set up for Carter-Williams to win.
Carter-Williams ended up with 104 of the 124 first-place votes. Oladipo was second with 16 first-place votes and was overwhelmingly the choice to finish second with 89 second-place votes. Some of the notables who voted Oladipo as their Rookie of the Year included Bill Simmons of Grantland, Zach Lowe of Grantland and David Aldridge of TNT.
Oladipo for the season averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. Per 36 minutes, he averaged 16.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists. Oladipo had several very strong performances and had a stretch of games where he was absolutely killer. But it was not the consistent statistical effort that Michael Carter-Williams put up.
Carter-Williams for the season averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game. Per 36 minutes, he averaged 17.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists. Carter-Williams clearly had an advantage based on playing time and counting stats.
What most who supported Oladipo argues was that his advanced numbers were much more impressive. Oladipo had 13.6 PER and 1.3 win shares for the Magic including a 45.8 percent effective field goal percentage. Carter-Williams ended up with a 15.5 PER and 1.3 win shares as well, with a 43.1 percent effective field goal percentage.
One that that was clear as both these players made it through the season is that they are sure to have long, successful careers. They both have a lot of improvement to make and Oladipo might still end up being the better long-term project, especially considering his defensive potential.
Chalk this up as another thing to motivate Oladipo.