There was a reason why so many teams tanked last season. And that reason was Andrew Wiggins. And after 70+ games this season a once in a generation talent has proven to be worth every manufactured loss last season. Jabari Parker is a nice consolation price for any franchise, even though he got injured after 25 games this year. The jury is still out on what will become of Joel Embiid, Aaron Gordon, Dante Exum, and company. But suffice to say, this year belongs to Wiggins. Not even a late surge by last year's Philly Injury Nerlens Noel can change that.
Here are the Top rookies by opportunity. To make this list you had to have played at least 500 minutes this season, and average at least 20 mpg. No one wins ROY without getting the minutes, because you need the minutes to get the stats. And we all know that this award (and the All-Rookie 1st and 2nd team) are all about stats. These 15 guys (and Jabari, who qualifies for both of those categories in only 25 games) are ranked in the most box score stats to lowest (BARPS, or BPG+APG+RPG+PPG+SPG).
It's all about Wiggins, but Nerlens Noel, Elfrid Payton, and Jordan Clarkson make strong cases to be on the 1st team. I'm really just confused if they will make Parker a 1st team member, give it to big market man Langston Galloway, or the very impressive Zach LaVine?
The second team is going to be two of those last three guys, Marcus Smart, and two open spots for someone like Adreian Payne, K.J. McDaniels, Bojan Bodanovic, or Jerami Grant.
Our Utah Jazz have played many rookies this season (Dante Exum, Rodney Hood, Joe Ingles, Elijah Millsap, Bryce Cotton, Patrick Christopher, Jack Cooley, Jerrelle Benimon, and Grant Jerrett). And despite having FOUR rookies (Hood, Millsap, Ingles, and Exum) all meet the requirements I have for this list (500 total mins, 20 mpg) they are all clearly after thoughts.
There's no All-Rookie 3rd team. But by this metric, that could just be the Jazz rookies this year + one other guy. It's a bummer that none of our rookies really took off this year, age and injuries saw to that. There could be some solace as perhaps 2 or 3 will be in the Rookie / Soph game next year, right?
As for the Rookie of the Year, though, I think we all can agree that Wiggins has it. He has the high draft stock, the expectations, the high light plays, and is putting up a lot of stats for a bad team. That looks a lot like the ROY in today's NBA.