Less than 15 games remain in the NBA season and award races for are heating up. For the first time in a while, there are at least three competitors in contention for each award expect Rookie of the Year. It’s been Luka Doncic’s trophy to lose since October but there’s on pesky first-year player looking to challenge him for it. Let’s look at how Doncic stacks up to his competition using the stats that matter most for an honor like this.
As of March 11, the top 5 scorers from the 2018 draft class are as follows Luka Doncic, Trae Young, DeAndre Ayton, Collin Sexton, and Marvin Bagley III. If you haven’t guessed it yet, Luka Doncic has the highest scoring average and has a slight edge over the next guy up, Trae Young, in total points.
Out of the five players listed above, DeAndre Ayton holds the highest field goal percentage at 58.9% while Bagley, Doncic, Sexton, and Young follow suit. At the three-point line Sexton leads the pack at 39.4% as Luka falls behind at 34.6% with more than double the attempts and conversions. From the free throw line, Luka sits at number 4 while having the most attempts per game, 7 and made free throws at 4.7. The leaders in the free throw percentage clubhouse are Sexton at 83.4%, Young 82.2%, Ayton 75.7, and Bagley rounds out the group at 69.7%.
Luka cleans up nicely on this side of the ball too. He’s second in rookie rebounding behind the giant in the desert, DeAndre Ayton. Doncic’s 6’8” frame and nose for the ball make it easy for him to collect rebounds but averaging more than super athlete Marvin Bagley, defensive-minded Wendell Carter Jr., and the guy with the longest wingspan in basketball Mo Bamba is ridiculous. This is one of those stats that most fans and analysts wouldn’t have guessed at the beginning of the season.
Doncic is once again number 2 on this list and this time to his biggest competition. While Luka is averaging 5.6 assist a game, a top 30 mark in the league Trae Young is averaging 7.8 assist per game. 5.6 assists are great for a rookie initiator but 7.8 is world class for any guard.
Of all rookies who have played a minimum of 30 games and averaged 25 minutes a game, Luka has the highest rpm. He also leads all rookies in win shares. Doncic ranks 48th in the NBA in that category and it ranks the closest rookie 119th.
Luka Doncic also projects to make the largest impact on his team’s record. 66 games into the season the Mavs have already eclipsed their 24 game win total. Of the lottery pick rookies playing at least 25 minutes only one other player can claim that. Even though Young and Ayton‘s teams project to finish with better records than last year.
Doncic’s consistency and production should give him the edge over the rest of his class. Trae Young has definitely closed the gap but even his last scoring tear won’t be enough to sway voters. If Doncic wins the award, he’ll be the first Maverick to win the award since Jason Kidd.