We knew Michael Carter-Williams would win Rookie of the Year, but we didn’t know just quite how he’d do it.
Turns out, the 76ers guard prevailed over the widest field of first-place vote-getters since the NBA adopted its current voting format for the award.
Five players – Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, Mason Plumlee and Tim Hardaway Jr. – received first-place votes, the most in a dozen years.
In 2002, Pau Gasol (117 votes) won over Richard Jefferson (three), Andrei Kirilenko (two), Jason Richardson (two) and Jamaal Tinsley (two).
Back then, voters chose only a winner on their ballots. Now, voters rank first-place (five points), second-place (three points) and third-place (one point).
Carter Williams averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds, leading rookies in all three categories (the last guy to do that was Oscar Robertson). However, he put up the numbers because on a bad team he was given the ball and asked to make plays without concern for efficiency.
In the last few years, we’ve seen a few runaway winners. Damian Lillard won unanimously last year, and so did Blake Griffin in 2011. Between, Kyrie Irving took 117 of 120 first-place votes with nobody else receiving more than one.
But Carter-Williams faced more competition, though he still received 104 of 124 first-place votes.
Full voting (first-, second-, third-place votes, total points)
1. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia (104-15-4-569)
2. Victor Oladipo, Orlando (16-89 -17-364)
3. Trey Burke, Utah (1-13-52-96)
4. Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn (2-5-33-58)
5. Tim Hardaway Jr., New York (1-2-12-23)
6. Gorgui Dieng, Minnesota (0-0-3-3)
7. Steven Adams, Oklahoma City (0-0-1-1)
7. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee (0-0-1-1)
7. Nick Calathes, Memphis (0-0-1-1)