Lakers: How Does D’Angelo Russell’s Season Compare to 2016 Rookies?

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As was shown during the season, assists (not threes) show a stronger correlation to wins than any other stat. That is, if your team has the potential to win. Subsequently, it’s important to see what Russell did in regards to distributing for scores as a rookie.

Here’s a look at the assist totals among rookies:

Emmanuel Mudiay eked out the top spot on the rookie list at 372 and McConnell had just five fewer assists as the No. 2 rookie. Russell landed at No. 3 with 266 total assists on the year. Russell ended up ranked 51st overall in total assists. Or, in other words, Russell landed in the top 10.8% in the league in assists. Impressive.

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An interesting wrinkle, Mudiay dished out 106 more assists than D’Angelo in 13 fewer games. Note that Mudiay started in18 more games than Russell. Even more shocking is that McConnell only started 17 games and played 462 fewer minutes than Mudiay and 653 fewer minutes than Russell and still managed to dish out the second-most assists on the year.

Taking that into consideration, if there were a stat for assists per minute, then McConnell would have been at the top of the list with .23 assists per minute. Marcelo Huertas (the other Lakers rookie) at .21 would be in second, Mudiay at .18 third, Jerian Grant at .14 in fourth and Russell would end up in fifth place recording a .12 assists per minute.

For comparison, non-rookie and regular season NBA MVP Stephen Curry logged 527 assists and came in at No. 10 this season. The No. 1 player in the league in assists was none other than Sacramento’s Rajon Rondo who racked up a whopping 839. Russell Westbrook at No. 2 nearly tied Rondo with 834 assists on the season.

But enough about assists. Let’s move out beyond the arc and look at Russell’s three-point shooting as a rookie.

Next: Three-Point Shot