The race for rookie of the year keeps getting thinner as another prime candidate, Jabari Parker, goes down with a probably torn ACL, which means the end of the season for the Milwaukee Bucks forward. He is the second lottery pick to go down for the season, following Julius Randle of the Los Angeles Lakers.
At least Parker got to enjoy some of his rookie season, playing 25 games and 29.5 minutes a night. He averaged 12.3 points while shooting 49% from the field and 5.5 rebounds on the surprising Bucks, who are 13-12 under their new head coach, Jason Kidd.
In the win over the Suns, Parker collided with P.J. Tucker after running up the court on a fast break. Initially the Bucks thought it’s just an ACL sprain, but it has turned out to be a tear, which means that the number two overall pick coming off one year with Duke will miss the rest of the season.
Julius Randle suffered a similar fate, but it happened to him on opening night for the Los Angeles Lakers, a team without too much luck on their side this season. Randle, coming off one year with Kentucky, was injured after 14 minutes of basketball on his NBA debut, breaking his right tibia and a day later already underwent surgery, which meant the end of the season for him.
This means that three of the top 7 picks in the latest NBA draft might not play again this season. Parker and Randle are out for good, and Joel Embiid, the third overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, might not actually return this season, going the Nerlens Noel route.
This leaves Andrew Wiggins as the prime candidate to win the rookie of the year award. He is shooting 39.4% from the field and isn’t averaging anything more than 12.6 points per game.
However, this year’s rookie class is filled with potential that needs to be developed, not players that are ready to star. That leaves Wiggins, now that Parker is off the books until next year, as one of the few who you can say are having a good, meaningful season on their team.