While the NBA season has just begun, it is never too early to start predicting end-of-season awards, particularly when a Sixer is bound to be a contender for one.
Rookie Michael Carter-Williams opened all eyes in his NBA debut, posting a stat line of 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds, and 9 steals. From that point on, basketball fans have paid close attention to the Sixers’ starting point guard. Eight games into his NBA career, MCW has averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per contest. In addition, Carter-Williams was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week in his very first week in the association.
Of course, with the lack of depth on the entire Sixers’ roster, Carter-Williams will be given the opportunity to play quality minutes on a nightly basis and to learn from his mistakes. On top of that, Sixers’ head coach Brett Brown is known for his expertise in player development. Tony Parker has made it known that Brown was vital in his growth as a player, and he is now an MVP candidate nearly every year. With that said, MCW is years away from being anything close to what Parker is, but with his size, athleticism, work ethic, and the fact that he has Brett Brown to learn from, things are surely stacking up nicely for the rookie point guard.
As always, other rookies will impress and be in the running for this award. Victor Oladipo, everyone’s preseason favorite, is playing well in Orlando, Ben McLemore has played well when given the opportunity and will more than likely see an increase in minutes if Sacramento continues to struggle, and Kelly Olynyk has finally looked like the machine that we saw for the Boston Celtics in summer league.
When all is said and done, only one rookie will be crowned Rookie of the Year, and there will likely be another dark horse or two. Either way, look for Michael Carter-Williams to be right in the thick of it all at season’s end.