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Draft Position: No. 1
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Rookie Per-Game Stats: 18.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks
Advanced Stats: 22.1 PER, 2.2 WS (So far)
Rookie of the Year Share: No idea
Let me make it perfectly clear: this slide is operating under the assumption that Kyrie Irving maintains his level of play, and the Cleveland Cavaliers continue contending for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
The word "sensational" was really included in the title of this article because it's the only way to describe this rookie point guard's level of play.
Now I'm sure that putting him above Derrick Rose is going to be a little bit controversial, especially because it's hard to remember D-Rose's first year in the league without thinking about his most recent MVP-winning campaign. So here's a full breakdown comparing the two.
On the surface, Irving and Rose have pretty similar stats. Irving has been a slightly better scorer and Rose was better at dishing the ball of to teammates, although he did have better teammates than Irving has now. But when you dig deeper, Irving is pretty clearly superior.
Irving is scoring more points despite playing almost eight minutes per game less, thanks to his vastly superior 58.2 TS%. Rose's was only 51.6 percent during his first season with the Chicago Bulls.
As always though, there's way more to basketball than just scoring.
Irving's AST% is higher than Rose's, with a mark of 34.9 percent to Rose's 28.8.
According to Offensive Rating and Defensive Rating, Irving has been better on both ends of the court. His 111 ORtg is slightly better than Rose's 108, just like his 107 DRtg is a bit better than Rose's 113.
It's weird to think about, but Irving has simply been better than Rose as a rookie.
Now that's not to say that Irving will end up being a better player in the future. Rose made a dramatic jump in level of play to his current form, and I seriously doubt that Irving will win an MVP award anytime soon.