Forget the record: Deandre Ayton should absolutely win Rookie of the Year

Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton Luka Doncic (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton Luka Doncic (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) /
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Deandre Ayton Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Deandre Ayton Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

If all of that didn’t put Ayton over the top in your mind, this will

That was all a breakdown and comparison of the league’s traditional statistics, but I have two final stats that I want to share that hold up Ayton’s traditional stats that much more – and should unequivocally put Ayton over the top: Efficiency and Win Share.

Efficiency (EFF), is an individual number that is derived of multiple offensive and defensive statistics.

Very simply, you add all pts, reb, ast, stl, and blk, and from total, subtract FGM, FTM, and TO, then divide that number by games played.

Guess who led all rookies in EFF?

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

That’s right: Deandre Ayton.

1. Deandre Ayton – 22.6

2. Luka Doncic – 21.6

3. Trae Young – 18.3

4. Marvin Bagley III – 16.4

5. Mitchell Robinson – 14.8

Oh, and don’t think that this is some obscure statistic that I had to dig out of a dusty pile of random advanced stats.


This is one of the NBA’s “official” statistics that one can search for the league’s “Official Leaders” (Ayton finished tied for 25th in the league with DeMar DeRozan).

And finally, Win Share: an estimate of the number of wins on a team contributed by an individual player, similar to WAR in baseball (the number of games played also plays a considerable role in the total number):

First, Ayton (who played in 71 games), again, finished first among rookies at 5.8.

Luka (72 games) had a 4.9 Win Share while Trae Young’s (81 games) was 3.3.

But it becomes even more impressive than that:

If you consider their win share as a percentage of their team’s wins (which really does help place an emphasis on how much an individual player actually helped a team overall), Ayton’s presence helped win 30.5% of the Phoenix Suns’ wins.

Luka led to 14.8% of Dallas’ wins; Trae directly led to 11.3% of Atlanta’s wins.

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Luka Doncic has a sincerely amazing statistical season when looking at his three primary stats of points, rebounds, and assists; and his team won an additional nine games last season from the season before (Dallas also won 33 two seasons ago – for what it’s worth); there are just far  too many important statistics that Ayton was the superior statistical carrier of that should absolutely take precedence in the mind’s of Rookie of the Year voters.

Further, all NBA fans should take into account the position Ayton played versus Luka and Trae as well as Ayton’s team’s entire lack of a legitimate point guard. If one is honest with themselves, there should be no debate: Deandre Ayton should absolutely  win the 2018-19 NBA Rookie of the Year award.