Embiid has only played in one of the 76ers’ last 15 games — a 32-point, seven-rebound, four-assist night against the Houston Rockets — and has logged just 786 minutes on the season. Kyrie Irving played 1,558 minutes during the 2011-12 season when he won the 2011-12 Rookie of the Year award with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the fewest minutes played by a rookie of the year winner in NBA history.
By winning the award Embiid would be shattering an NBA record, but it would also be very well deserved. Before his injury, Embiid was finishing 40.2 percent of his team’s possessions with a shot, pass, turnover or trip to the free throw line, a rate similar to what is seen with other NBA stars like LeBron James (41.3 percent) and Steph Curry (38.1 percent). According to Player Efficiency Rating, a measure of per-minute production standardized such that the league average is 15, Embiid (24.2 PER) is just as efficient as two-time MVP Steph Curry this season, while other standout rookies such as Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon (14.1 PER), Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (7.4 PER) and Embiid’s teammate Dario Saric (11.8 PER) are all below average despite being used far less often: