76ers' Michael Carter-Williams Wraps Up Historic Rookie Season

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffApril 21, 2014

Philadelphia 76ers' Michael Carter-Williams is seen during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 113-108. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Michael Perez

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams led all rookies in points (16.7), rebounds (6.2) and assists (6.3) per game this season, becoming just the third NBA player to accomplish that feat since the beginning of the 1950-51 campaign, per NBA.com/Stats.

Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson (surprise, surprise) pulled off the same trick with the Cincinnati Royals in 1960-61, and Alvan Adams did it in 1975-76 as a member of the Phoenix Suns. Between Adams' rookie campaign and MCW's, 37 seasons passed without a single player leading his rookie class in all three categories.

Magic Johnson somehow averaged 18 points, 7.7 boards and 7.3 assists as a rookie for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979-80, but he didn't even lead his rookie class in points or rebounds, as nemesis and Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird debuted the same year. Bird incredibly averaged 21.3 points and 10.4 boards that season.

Still, Johnson and Carter-Williams are two of only three players—the other being Robertson—in league history to average at least 16 points, six rebounds and six assists as rookies, per NBA.com/Stats.

While Carter-Williams may be in elite company in terms of counting stats, that's probably where the comparisons should end.

Johnson made 53 percent of his field-goal attempts for a championship team during his rookie season, while Robertson made 47 percent of his shots for a Royals team that improved from 19-56 the previous year to 33-46 in the Big O's rookie season of '60-61.

Carter-Williams shot just 40.5 percent from the field, and his Sixers went 19-63, tying the NBA's record for longest losing streak (26 games) along the way. His numbers benefited from both his team's frenetic pace of play and a complete and utter lack of competition for playing time.

So, while MCW's rookie season was obviously quite encouraging, it would be wise to hold off on declaring him a future superstar. Some of the signs are there, but he's no Oscar or Magic, two of the players whom he frequently draws loose comparisons to.


All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.