The race for NBA Rookie of the Year is between Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell, and the latest argument in favor of the latter is that Simmons isn’t actually a rookie. If that was true, he should have no competition for the Most Improved Player award.
After being selected No. 1 overall in the 2016 draft, the Philadelphia 76ers guard missed the entire season due to a foot injury. Simmons never logged a minute in an NBA game, so he’s a first-year player in 2017-18.
Mitchell, however, recently poked some fun at Simmons by wearing a sweatshirt with the definition of “rookie” printed on it.
The lighthearted dig sparked a flurry of sports anger between the 76ers and Jazz fanbases, with the latter mentioning the “good point” of Mitchell’s sweatshirt.
So, let’s pretend that’s correct. Let’s say Mitchell is the only true Rookie of the Year contender this season.
In that case, move over Victor Oladipo; Simmons raised his point, assist and rebound averages from 0.0 across the board to 15.9, 8.2 and 8.2, respectively. What a remarkable improvement by the LSU product!
Don’t worry, Sixers fans. One way or another, Simmons deserves some hardware.