With the NBA playoffs now in the second round, the talk of who will be this season’s Rookie of the Year is at an all time high.
The NBA Award ceremony isn’t until June 25th, but there is a lot of speculation as to who will win the ROY award this year. Let’s list the two top candidates and what got them on this list.
Ben Simmons, PG/PF, Philadelphia 76ers
Simmons has been projected to win ROY since the beginning of the season.
He was injured and ruled out of his original 2016-2017 rookie season, fracturing his ankle in the final camp before the season started.
Thanks to the injury 2017-2018 has become his official rookie season and since the injury Simmons has looked hungry to play basketball.
He helped lead the 76ers to the playoffs and is a clear leader on that team alongside Joel Embiid.
Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 total rebounds and 8.2 assists during the regular season.
He lead this years rookie class in scoring and is easily one of the top choices for this award.
Donovan Mitchell, SG, Utah Jazz
Although it seemed Simmons was going to run away with ROY without any competition, Mitchell proved otherwise during the regular season.
He has been leading the Jazz on a tear and even won this year’s dunk contest.
Mitchell is a threat in the paint, on the perimeter and really anywhere you can imagine.
Mitchell averaged 20.5 points, 3.7 total rebounds and 3.7 assists this season. On top of those stats, he passed Karl Malone with 19 20+ point games as a rookie. Also, he set a rookie record with 186 made three’s in a rookie season.
Mitchell can back up his stats, his play is aggressive and effective. He has saved the Jazz from falling out of the playoffs after losing all-star small forward Gordon Hayward to the Boston Celtics in the off season.
So, Mitchell has the records, Simmons has the stats. They are both currently in the playoffs and this is just improving both of their stocks as they continue to play and battle for that award.
Simmons has been a dominant force in the playoffs and Mitchell has as well. It is hard to choose between the two as their styles of play are almost matched.
The stats are different, but Mitchell’s broken records help his case a bit more than Simmons. Only time will tell who will earn that Rookie of the Year trophy at the end of the post season.
Written by: Andrew Bowen
Edited by: Sam Forman