As we enjoy the experience that is the Skal Labissiere Hype Train, it’s only natural that we may start to wonder whether Skal has any shot of the Rookie of the Year Award. It’s been an underwhelming rookie crop thus far. Joel Embiid would have won but injuries limited his minutes and games played to such an extent that he’s basically eliminated from contention. Unfortunately, the emergence of Skal Labissiere has come too late in the season. Don’t get your hopes up, Skal isn’t going to win Rookie of the Year.
It’s not that Skal isn’t playing well enough, it’s simply that he started doing it too late. To this point in the season he’s only played 238 minutes. He would need to average 39 minutes per game for the final 14 games just to match Embiid’s minutes total, and as we said, Embiid hasn’t played enough minutes to be a serious contender.
The contest will come down to Dario Saric or Malcolm Brogdon. And that’s ok. There’s a former Kings Rookie of the Year winner currently on the roster who is the ultimate cautionary tale of the importance, or lack thereof, in winning the award. A good rookie year does not make a career. A slow start does not limit a career.
Right now, I’d much rather have Skal than Saric or Brogdon. I don’t care about the award, I care about the years to come. Skal won’t win rookie of the year, but he still might be the best rookie to come out of this draft class.