Since the NBA ROY race is getting much more interesting as we're coming down the home stretch, I wanted to check in on how they're doing.
Generally, ROY voters enjoy big offensive numbers, and it's hard to blame them--offensive stats are just what have been historically available for public consumption. It hasn't been until recently when more emphasis has been placed on capturing defensive impact.
With that in mind, at the very least, it would be nice to compare some of these rookies' scoring efficiency in the way of TS%.
The Real Contestants
It's only a 3-man ROY race at this point--Andrew Wiggins, Nikola Mirotic, and Nerlens Noel.
Wiggins easily had the most hype coming into the season, being the #1 overall (which still didn't stop the team who drafted him from trading him in an offseason blockbuster). He has the physical tools to be a great 2-way player and has been showcasing his offensive ability this year by scoring lots of points on the injury-plagued Twolves.
Mirotic had a fair amount of hype coming in as well, after spending multiple years overseas since he was drafted. The 2011 #23 pick that was used to claim his draft rights actually bounced around a few teams too, which is an interesting story in itself. He's a little older as a 24-year old rookie, and actually wasn't restricted by the NBA rookie pay scale since he was unsigned for three seasons after his draft (the CBA has strange clauses like that). This earned him $5.3M, close to #1 overall money (Wiggins $5.5M), even though he was a lowly #23.
Nerlens was a relative afterthought after sitting out his draft year while recovering from a torn ACL suffered in his solitary year in college. He also took quite a draft day tumble, falling to #6 after being touted as the undisputed #1 for much of the college season before he was injured. At $3.3M, he's making peanuts compared to the other two. That salary is even after accounting for the annual 4.5% raise he already received for being on the 2nd year of his contract.
The Sacrificial Lambs
And then there's the two Sixers paupers, Jakarr and Jerami, both on nearly minimum salary deals.
Apparently Elfrid Payton is crashing into the ROY foray, but it's most likely too little too late.
Mirotic started strong and slowly regressed away from historic rates. He's settling down and still easily the most efficient scoring rookie. With the way it's going, he has potential to make another rally to close out the season.
Wiggins had a strong efficiency push in the middle of the season but crashed back towards the 0.50 TS% mark, still trailing Mirotic.
Noel, Grant, Elfrid started in the gutter and are ascending. Their 66-day SMA are still outperforming their cumulative season averages, appearing to continue the trend upwards. Elfrid still lags below 0.50 TS%, but Noel and Grant are making noise above it.
Jakarr had a very strong mid-season, approaching Mirotic levels of efficiency, but has fallen back hard. It doesn't look promising, his 66-day SMA is trending in the wrong direction and below 0.50 TS%.