There are so many good rookies right now that I can’t even figure out who’s in the lead for ROTY of the year. If we’re looking solely at Win Shares per 48 (a stat which I don’t understand), and we exclude meme players like Sindarius Thornwell and Jordan Bell, then Jayston Tatum is first on the list. This measure puts John Collins in second place in the ROTY of the year race, which seems slightly wrong but not totally egregious.
If we go by a stat which I actually understand, points per game, the picture changes a little bit: Lauri Markkanen is currently beating out Jayson Tatum by .4 PPG, 15.6 to 15.2. De’Aaron Fox lags just behind at 14.8. That doesn’t make sense to me because there’s no way under the current scoring rules to score fractions of points. I feel like that’s an error in the methodology, so maybe that’s not the best measure either.
Using jersey color, Tatum’s jersey is usually green. The voters showed strong approval of green jerseys when they voted Malcolm Brogdon of the Bucks to be ROTY of the year last year, and there’s not really any rookies of note who don green jerseys on a regular basis.
If you take all these things together, Jayson Tatum is making a pretty compelling case for being ROTY of the year. Maybe five games in is too early to start making predictions, but the good thing about predictions is that people expect them to be wrong!