Some more stats to throw at you today using my new distance metric, which judges scoring based on both efficiency (measured by TS% ) and volume (measured by USG%).
Here are the rookies in 2012 with greater than 300 FGA attempted. Recall that 1.0 is the greatest DIST a player can have, 0 is what an average player would have, and -1 would be very bad. I’ve also standardized the rating according to how rookies peform. That’s given in the STD column. You can see that Kyrie Irving has been a very, very good scorer. He is 2.5 standard deviations above an average rookie. Klay Thompson (yes!) and Isaiah Thomas have also been quite good.
Here is the list of rookies since 1980.
Complete Rookie List since 1980
Michael Jordan was an incredible scorer even as a rookie. And Kyrie Irving is among the top 10. One thing I tweeted about yesterday is that it’s fun to see names of players that I know nothing about pop on lists like this. Jeff Ruland (drafted by the Warriors, but never played for us) was a big (6’11” 280 pound) center who put together a few great seasons, but his career ended early due to injury. And Steve Johnson was a PF that played for us in 1991 before retiring. He was actually traded to Portland for Mychal Thompson (father of current Warrior Klay Thompson) in 1986. From what I can tell, Steve Johnson was basically David Lee before there was David Lee, because his MO was all about scoring and no defense. (Sorry, DLee, but it’s true.)
Actually, that last part is surprisingly not completely accurate. There actually was another David Lee (David G. Lee) who was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors back in 1968.