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PBT Roundtable: Who will win Rookie of the Year?

Oct 11, 2013, 12:55 AM EDT

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Welcome to PBT’s regular roundtable on issues around the NBA, where our writers weigh in on the topic of the day.

Today: Who will win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award?

Kurt Helin: There’s a formula to this — you need a guy with the ball in his hand on a bad team that is going to ask him to make plays and put up numbers. Damian Lillard did that last season, and seven of the last eight ROY winners fit that formula (Blake Griffin being the exception). The guy that fits the mold for me this year is Trey Burke in Utah. He is going to be the starting point guard for a bad Jazz team that will need him to make plays. And we saw from his time at Michigan he can make some plays. Utah could use a win here too — it will be about the lone piece of good news out of their season.

Brett Pollakoff: I agree on the formula part, but am going with a more conventional choice. Victor Oladipo in Orlando is skilled enough, and will have plenty of opportunity with the ball in his hands playing both guard positions. He should have no trouble putting up numbers immediately in the Magic’s system, whether points or assists.

Burke is a solid choice, though Im not convinced Tyrone Corbin (coaching without a net, by the way) will let him go as unchecked as Lillard was allowed to in Portland last season — especially without the same skills as a floor general that Lillard possesses.

DJ Foster: Kurt, you’re right about the formula. On top of that, no player selected outside of the top-10 has won the award since Mark Jackson (he’s a coach now! We’re all so old!) did it way back in 1988. So if we stick with guards taken in the top-10, Trey Burke is the most logical choice. C.J. McCollum is hurt, Michael Carter-Williams will play on a team only people in hostage situations should watch, and Victor Oladipo’s contributions won’t pop out on a losing team. It’s Burke’s award to lose, in my mind.

Darius Soriano: Not only do I agree with Kurt’s formula, I also agree with the rest of the group that Burke and Oladipo are the frontrunners to win the award. If I had to choose between those two, I’d go with Burke simply because I think Oladipo will be competing for shots with too many other wings in Orlando for much of this season. Not only are Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo likely to maintain key roles, but Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless are both up and coming prospects who flashed good potential last year (especially Harris). That’s a lot of mouths to feed on the perimeter and I envision Oladipo settling into a role where he mostly impacts the game on defense and by doing the dirty work that helped define his college career. That may help his team win games, but it won’t get him the rookie of the year award.

  1. lucifershuttlesworth - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Don`t sleep on Olynyk.

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:47 AM

      Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  2. antistratfordian - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Well the answer to this question might be a lot like the one for “who will be the #1 pick in the draft?”

    I also think there is a developing factor that might throw a monkey wrench into Kurt’s formula from now until… maybe forever… because we saw it come up last year with Anthony Davis vs Damian Lillard and I’m assuming it will only become more of an issue in the future. That is the role that “advanced” data will play in future voting. Will it have more of an impact than last year? Presumably.

    I don’t think that simply having the ball a lot and shooting a lot is going to continue to win rookies this award. Maybe it will do it this year, but I’d say those days are numbered.

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 11, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      Advanced stats may play a role down the line, but the fact is Davis was never close to that award last year. Even though 30 GMs would take Davis long term as the better player. Winning ROY is not about who will be the best player but who had the opportunity as a rookie.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:50 PM

        Davis was probably a lot closer than you’re realizing – not necessarily reflected in the final tally but the winds of change were definitely howling. If the voting had been delayed a month the outcome may have been different.

        Lillard did have one thing going for him though that Davis could not compete with: The basketball community was eager to reward Lillard for staying in college for 4 years.

        And I’m aware of what the ROY award is about. Last year the best rookie and the guy who will end up the better player were the same person.

  3. ohioteamsusuallysuck - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Don’t sleep on Anthony Bennett, I can see the cavs making a big trade with Andy v and/or Tristan Thompson in order to give the number one pick some playing time

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      trading varejao would be colossally stupid.

  4. misremembered72 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    just don’t sleep at all

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Andre Drummond. Last year. If his coach actually played him.

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