In a sitdown with ESPN this past weekend, Philadelphia 76ers point-forward Ben Simmons was asked who he thinks should be the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year.
The 21-year-old Simmons, who has led the Sixers to the postseason with his stellar play all season, didn’t hesitate with his response.
“Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent,” Simmons told ESPN. “I think I have been playing solid all year. If you look at the numbers, you will see. People who know the game know.”
Entering Monday, Simmons is averaging 16.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.2 assists while shooting 54.7 percent from the field. He has registered 12 triple-doubles, trailing only the legendary Oscar Robertson (26) for the most by a player in a rookie season.
Scouts around the league knew Simmons was going to be a cerebral player, but not this quickly. The game seems to come easy for the Australia native and he’s never going to fast, something that usually plagues young players in the NBA.
The other rookie who has garnered a lot of attention and hype is Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell, entering Monday, is averaging 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 43.8 percent overall and 33.9 percent from 3-point range.
Simmons, however, didn’t mince words when he was asked if there is another rookie who has caught his attention.
“None,” Simmons said.
Simmons also doesn’t agree with the notion that he has an advantage over his fellow rookies because he was in the NBA last season despite not suiting up. Simmons, of course, missed the entire 2016-17 season due to a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot.
“Coming off a broken foot is definitely not an edge, but people are always going to say what they want to say,” Simmons said. “But at the end of the day, this is my first year in the league. If you’re a guy coming from overseas, you’re still a rookie and you can be 30 years old. So there’s a rule in there.”