NBA Rookie Stock Watch: Can Michael Carter-Williams Outpace Surging Challengers?

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NBA Rookie Stock Watch: Can Michael Carter-Williams Outpace Surging Challengers?
Charles Krupa

Michael Carter-Williams' stranglehold on the NBA's Rookie of the Year award may be loosening in the season's final two weeks.

Since the last edition of Stock Watch, MCW has maintained his stat-stuffing ways. But challengers to his rookie throne are popping up all over the place, perhaps sensing the need for a final push before the regular season comes to a close.

Mason Plumlee earned some serious praise for his statistical contributions to the playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets; the value of playing well for a winner can't be lost among this crop of talent. For the most part, the top 10 rookies are toiling for go-nowhere teams in meaningless games—and have been for months.

Plumlee's not alone in his late surge, either.

Gorgui Dieng's excellent interior work for the Minnesota Timberwolves earns him some first-time recognition. And Ray McCallum's stunning stand-in effort for Isaiah Thomas deserves notice.

Instead of hitting the rookie wall, those two kicked down the door.

As a reminder, we're ranking these rookies based on full-season performance with emphasis on recent work. As you'll see, a couple of hot weeks since the March 23 edition of these rankings have resulted in big changes throughout.

With the season winding down, the rookie race is heating up. Here's how MCW and the rest of the first-year crop have fared.

 

Stats accurate through games played April 5.

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