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Donovan Mitchell is the Rookie of the Year

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This rookie class is stacked, but one stands (and dunks) above the rest

Utah Jazz v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

This first point I’m taking for my own content. Sorry not sorry. I was curious about the history of the Rookie of the Year award, and how justified I am in feeling Donovan Mitchell should be this year’s leader.

First of all, the award has almost exclusively gone to the rookie that had the highest points per game that season. As lame as that is, it still tends to pick the correct winner. Here are the winners from the last several years vs. the leader in PPG for that year.

ROTY Winners

Year ROTY Winner PPG Leader
Year ROTY Winner PPG Leader
2016-2017 Malcolm Brogdon Dario Saric
2015-2016 Karl-Anthony Towns Karl-Anthony Towns
2014-2015 Andrew Wiggins Andrew Wiggins
2013-2014 Michael Carter-Williams Michael Carter-Williams
2012-2013 Damian Lillard Damian Lillard
2011-2012 Kyrie Irving Kyrie Irving
2010-2011 Blake Griffin Blake Griffin
2009-2010 Tyreke Evans Tyreke Evans

7 of the last 8 winners lead all rookies in scoring. Spoiler alert: Donovan Mitchell leads all rookies in the NBA at 18.8 points per game. Mitchell has increased his scoring average with every month of the season, and it wouldn’t shock me if he pushed 18.8 up above 20 by season’s end.

Among these previous winners, 18.8 would rank 4th behind Dame’s 19.0, Blakes 22.5, and Tyreke’s 20.1. Sorry Ben Simmons and all Boston Celtic fans, but that hardware is Donovan Mitchell’s to lose*.

*Being in a small market might prevent this...

Speaking of Damian Lillard, after the preseason I joked with a friend that I would be satisfied with Donovan Mitchell as long as he at least as good as Damian Lillard was. I definitely knew this wouldn’t be possible, but I was desperate after July 4th. Well...

It’s trade season, which means our Fan Posts from the week focused in on rumors and potential targets.

Beeblebrox42 believes we are focusing on the wrong thing in the Mirotic Rumors:

But here’s the thing: the potential trade isn’t the most exciting thing about the rumor. The best part of this rumor is something that’s already happened. It was confirmed, and it’s what the front office and coaching staff have been working towards since Dennis Lindsey was hired...

uttitanfan discussed realistic targets the Jazz should consider:

I wanted to start a discussion on realistic FA/Trade Targets and Draft Targets for the coming year. Most are just personal favorites I would love to see end up on the Jazz. I did try to limit them to players that are semi-realistically obtainable...

As I said, there are articles galore on potential players that could be on the move come the February 8th trade deadline. I’ll pull this one from CBS as an example, as a couple Jazz players were mentioned:

Derrick Favors UTA • PF • 15

If you were looking for evidence that Favors and Rudy Gobert can work as a long-term pairing, this season has not been encouraging. Favors has done his best work as a center, and he deserves to start at that position somewhere. The problem, of course, is timing: How much will other teams be willing to give up to rent him? The Utah Jazz have been in the Favors business for seven years, and it would hurt to ship him out for spare parts.

Alec Burks UTA • SG • 10

Consistency remains an issue for Burks, who has finally been able to stay on the court this season for the Jazz. Some nights, he looks fantastic as a scorer and a playmaker. Others, he disappears. Since wings are in such short supply, Utah might be able to get more than you’d think in return for him. He will make 10.5 million next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

There’s a lot of disagreement on the talent and value of these 2 players. Could Dennis Lindsey be looking to get something for nothing before Favs hits free agency? Does Alec Burks have more value than some have assumed?

NBA reddit never disappoints. And the Utah Jazz page is no exception. Check out this birthday cake in all its glory!

The only thing that was missing from this was a last ditched Donovan Mitchell #NBAvote campaign somewhere, as voting ended last night at midnight. I hope you area all proud of the number of votes you turned. If not, I have Jerry Sloan level expectations for you next year!