Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo

2014 PBT Awards: Rookie of the Year


Though none of us have a ballot for the NBA’s official awards, we’ll be presenting our choices and making our cases this week for each major honor.

Kurt Helin

1. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers

2. Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

3. Trey Burke, Utah Jazz

This is pretty clear cut to me — MCW was the best of an underwhelming rookie class (as expected after a down draft). He leads all rookies in scoring (16.6 per game), assists (6.3), rebounding (6.1) and steals (1.9). Yes, things like his jump shot still need work — of course they do, he’s a rookie! All rookies need to develop their game, even ones that spend four years in college. Yes, the Sixers play at a fast pace that helped pad his numbers, he still had the best rookie season out of anyone in this class.

Brett Pollakoff

1. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers

2. Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

3. Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn Nets

Michael Carter-Williams has been the most consistent, and has shown a surprising ability to be a triple-double threat when the opportunity is right. Oladipo is the somewhat obligatory second choice, and while there are certainly others who could be argued into third, Plumlee gets my vote for stepping into the Nets’ starting lineup in Kevin Garnett’s absence and admirably holding things down.

Dan Feldman

1. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers

2. Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

3. Trey Burke, Utah Jazz

The first two spots were easy to assign, especially No. 1. Carter-Williams rose above the rest of his rookie class on Day 1 and stayed there all season. Burke narrowly edges Plumlee, because I’ve been more impressed with Burke elevating Utah’s offense himself while Plumlee has gone along for the ride with a veteran Nets team.

Kevin Garnett welcomed Bobby Portis to NBA with veteran trash talk

Kevin Garnett
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Kevin Garnett is as good a trash talker as there is in the NBA right now. He’s one of the games’ legendary talkers.

And he welcomed Bulls rookie Bobby Portis to the NBA in his own special way during Saturday’s Chicago/Minnesota preseason game. From Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.

Beautiful use of the Honey Nut Cheerios reference.

Hoiberg was a teammate of KG’s back in Minnesota from 2003-2005. Hoiberg did nothing but praise Garnett after the game. He’s probably good with KG pushing Portis.

Watch out for Portis this season, he’s going to show he shouldn’t have fallen so far down the board.

PBT Extra bold prediction: Is this Andrew Wiggins’ breakout season?

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Minnesota is going to be entertaining to watch this season. A healthy Ricky Rubio (hopefully) dishing at the point, Karl-Anthony Towns is already a high-IQ passer, and bench players such as Shabazz Muhammad and Adreian Payne have shown some skills.

Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year developed quickly last season — particularly his jump shot — and he should make a big leap this season. He’s going to dunk on people and end up in a lot of highlight packages while putting up a lot of points.

Enough to set the Minnesota Timberwolves single game scoring record, currently held at 52 by Mo Williams? That’s the question for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.