Chris Paul was named Rookie of the Year this week. The statistics confirm the analysis of the voters; Paul is easily the most productive rookie. Paul produced 18 wins in his first season. To put this in perspective, consider that
- the combined Wins Produced of the five rookies trailing Paul in the voting for this award – Charlie Villanueva, Andrew Bogut, Raymond Felton, Channing Frye, and Deron Williams – only sum to 18.7.
- Deron Williams, the player who prevented Paul from being a unanimous choice, produced less than one win his rookie season. Villanueva, the player who finished second in voting points, only produced four wins this past season.
- if we move beyond the rookies, in the entire NBA only seven players produced more wins than Paul. So he is already one of the top ten players in the league.
- if we move past this season, in the last fifteen seasons only Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan produced more wins his rookie season than Paul. In other words, Paul’s rookie campaign bested the first campaign of Jason Kidd, Grant Hill, Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Yao Ming, LeBron James, and every other star to enter the league in the past fifteen years.
Given this, the question “who is the best rookie?” was an easy one to answer. Here is a question that I can’t answer: Which voter took the “unanimous selection for Rookie of the Year” away from Paul and voted for Deron Williams?