Is Ben Simmons a Lock for Rookie of the Year?
Ben Simmons was the number one draft pick in the 2016 NBA Draft of the Philadelphia 76ers, and many are projecting him to have a great first season. Ben Simmons was the consensus pick to be number one since February, when he dropped 43 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out seven assists for LSU. Many believe he will be the next great superstar. So with all the hype surrounding him, is he destined to win the Rookie of the Year award?
His fellow rookies don't believe so.
During a Rookie Survey that was taken this past summer, the draft class of 2016 chose Kris Dunn (from the Minnesota Timberwolves) as their Rookie of the Year. Ben Simmons doesn't seem to be the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award, at least among his peers. They're right from the standpoint that Simmons shouldn't be the favorite and here's why.
The Sixers have two other rookies, one of which has the potential to be an even bigger star than Simmons. With Joel Embiid and Dario Saric set to make their NBA debuts, it's hard to imagine Ben Simmons putting up the numbers to exceed the other rookies. Joel Embiid will not play too many minutes coming back from injury, but Saric is expected to make an immediate impact. Also, the Sixers have other players that can get in the way of Ben Simmons winning the award.
Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel are the two other Sixers players that have made the All-Rookie Teams in the past. With Embiid, Saric, Okafor, Noel, and Simmons, the Sixers are pretty loaded with young talent which will make it harder for individual players to shine. Not to mention that all of these players play in the frontcourt. Unless the Sixers move Simmons to the small forward spot, he will not have the same minutes the other rookies in the NBA will get.
To answer the question previously stated, Simmons is not a lock to win the Rookie of the Year award, but that doesn't mean he don't have a shot. With time, Simmons will prove to be the best player the Sixers have and if he puts up similar numbers to his days in LSU, then there is a possibility that he can make the race close. I'd have to say that Kris Dunn is definitely the favorite, due to the fact that he's a point guard that has a lot of scoring options on his team, but something tells me that Ben Simmons won't be quiet and will have an explosive year.