OJ Mayo dominating my SportsCenter viewing experience...
There are really only 5 legitimate candidates for 2009 Rookie of the Year honors: Rose, Mayo, Beasley, Westbrook and Oden (apologies to Love, Gorden and Lopez).
According to the live gambling odds (nothing in life is more accurate), the odds now stand at:
As of today, it looks like Rose and Mayo are clearly leading the pack and deserve a closer head-to-head comparison.
Mayo edges Rose in almost every statistical category (although I'm confused how the little guy has more blocks). In terms of contribution to the team, it's tough to quantify who has been more important to their respective squad - Memphis is dead last and 20 games out in the Southwest conference while the Bulls are comparably shitty: 4th in the Central and 18 games back.
Both play for talented teams with other scoring threats and can take as many shots as they want. Both are effective scorers (although Mayo has a more well-rounded game at the moment) and both are good defenders (edge to Mayo here as well).
The key difference is upside potential.
I've heard the argument that Mayo can become a D-Wade type player - versitile, slashing guard with a good outside game. The stats suppoort this. Personally, I think of him more like a mini- Lamar Odom type of player, only smaller and without the great court vision / passing ability. Mayo is limited by his own offense: it's tough to find the open man when you're busy creating your own shots and he just doesn't have the vision to make the other players around him better. (At least not yet...)
Rose on the other hand makes everyone around him better. He can score, he can dish and one day, he'll be able to shoot too. On pure talent, Rose is a freak - he's got the speed and quickness to make CP3 look like the TPC circa 5th grade:
Once Rose rounds out his game a bit and gets better on the defensive side of the ball, there is literally no limit to how good he can become. The most common comparison is Chris Paul or Jason Kidd (and often D-Wade here too) but while all of these guys are better players now, none of them have Rose's pure ability to create shots and beat defender off the dribble. With the proper coaching and hard work, we will evenutally be comparing great players to him.
PPG always plays the biggest factor in ROY voting and I think Mayo may end the year averaging 20-25 (which is insane). It would be hard to make the argument that Rose is a more valuable player to the Bulls right now than Mayo is to Memphis. So if held today...
Mayo would get my vote for 2009 ROY.
Nevertheless, I'd rather build a franchise around Rose and think he'll be the better player in the long run. If the Bulls make a move (GET AMARE YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKERS) we could see Rose's stats skyrocket and perhaps turn a corner in maturity. This discussion also needs to be revisted in a few months, when we've got more data.
Vote in the comments?