People will be redrafting this years draft for years to come. And two names that will continuously come up will be Bennedict Mathurin of the Indiana Pacers and Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons. And the question is, if we were to redraft last summer, would Mathurin go ahead of Ivey based on their first year performance? We investigate below.
The case for Jaden Ivey
Rookie Statistics: 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists on 42% FG and 34% FG3
Jaden Ivey had a quiet start to the year and if we were writing this in November, the difference between the two players would be more obvious. However, later in the season Ivey really blossomed into an NBA player upping in nearly every statistical category.
The question for Ivey will be if he will require the ball in his hands too often to be effective? Keep in mind that Cade Cunningham was out when Ivey really took off, and it is yet to be seen if Ivey can maintain his productivity when Cunningham returns to the floor.
The case for Bennedict Mathurin
Rookie Statistics: 16.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists on 43% FG and 32% FG3
Mathurin’s rookie season had the opposite trajectory, where he was a ROTY candidate early in the season only to cool off later in the year. It should be noted that Mathurin had less time with the starters given that he was primarily coming off the bench, whereas Ivey had quite a few starts.
The question for Mathurin is similar to Ivey, in that his value will depend on what he can do when the ball isn’t in his hands. If he requires the ball all the time to be effective, he will be taking it away from players like Haliburton who can make those around them better.
Indiana Pacers’ fans are likely well acquainted with Ivey given his college days were spent in the same state. This is definitely a close call, but Ivey would still probably have the edge in terms of upside, but I think still has a lower floor than Mathurin. Mathurin proved this year that consistency may be more likely for him than for Ivey.
In any case, I think Pacers’ fans are happy with their choice.