Well, it's now official. The NBA announced its 2014 Rookie of the Year award on Monday. The winner? One Michael Carter-Williams, in a landslide.
MCW is only the third player to lead all rookies in scoring, rebounding and assists, following Oscar Robertson (1960-61) and Alvan Adams (1975-76). Carter-Williams posted 16.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 6.2 assists while leading the Philadelphia 76'ers to a 19-63 record. The only other rookies to average at least 16/6/6 were Robertson and one Magic Johnson. Those guys were pretty good.
Carter-Williams ran away with with the award getting 104 out of 125 first place votes. The closest runner up was Orlando's Victor Oladipo, with twelve. Not bad for a skinny point guard with a questionable jumper.
In a way, the season couldn't have gone better for the Sixers, despite the craptastic record. They shed a ton of salary; a trade with the Indiana Pacers being the key. Their record puts them in great position to grab a top three pick in what is expected to be a loaded 2014 draft. And, not only were they able to get their rookie point a ton of real, live NBA minutes, but he showed that he was up to the task and has potential to be a very good lead guard in the league.
An interesting thought, though, was expressed in this Grantland piece about the zen-like quality of the Sixers' tank job. Bill Simmons compared MCW and the Sixers to a not so-long-ago Celtics and a young Antoine Walker. The Celts were bad and wanted to remain so. As a result, they encouraged 'Toine to go after his own numbers and the ROY, which he did. Simmons argues that that season ruined Walker's career by allowing him to create bad habits and turned him into the remorseless chucker that he's largely remembered as being.
Will the same happen with MCW? He averaged 15.1 FGA/G, which isn't a ton. It's probably about right for a player that should be a team's second scoring option. The better question might be, will he be willing to defer to a new teammate when it's been "his" team ever since he stepped on the court?
Having followed him closely, I don't think Carter-Williams will succumb to that. He's always been a pass-first point and unlike, say, Tyler Ennis he's never felt the overwhelming need to be the guy who takes the big shot. McDubz will if he has to, but is fine letting others shine as well.
Will that translate into wins for the Sixers in the future? Only time will tell. One thing we can say for now, though, is that the future looks sunny in Philadelphia.
What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Leave your comments below. Chris Daughtrey is the creator and author of Bleeding Orange. He is a contributor atTroy Nunes is an Absolute Magician and at Atlantic Coast Confidential. You can connect with him on Twitter @OrangeBlood 44 or search #OrangeBlood.