Who is the Rookie of the Year?


If you were to ask people after the NBA draft this past summer who they had as the early favorite for the Rookie of the Year award, most would have named Philadelphia 76er’s forward Ben Simmons. But seeing as his injury before the start of the season has removed any chance of him seeing any action this year, people had to wait and see who would take his place as the frontrunner.

After missing his first two seasons due to injury, 76er’s center Joel Embiid finally made his NBA debut and over the course of 31 games he averaged a promising 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
It looked like “the Process” was going to run away with the ROY honors, until it was announced he suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee.  The SIxer fans breathed a sigh of relief when they found out that he wouldn’t need surgery.

That is until two days later, when the Sixer’s front office announced Embiid would miss the rest of the 2016–17 season due to the tear being more pronounced than originally thought. Having only played 31 games, it is viewed that Embiid will not win the award due to lack of appearances.

The real question now is finding other players that fit the bill for the Rookie of the Year award. After doing some thinking and research, here are the three I think have the best chance at bringing home the coveted first-year honor.

  1. Dario Saric PF, Philadelphia

I find it a little ironic that the three people most likely to win this award have been on the Sixers roster.

Saric was drafted in the same year as Embiid, 2014, by the Orlando Magic, who then traded his draft rights to the Sixers in exchange for point guard Elfrid Payton. He remained overseas for an additional two seasons, before finally making his debut this season.

The 6’10 forward has made a good impact for the Sixers. He averages 11.2 points on 40 percent shooting and 6.2 rebounds in 25 minutes a night. His production has not lead to many wins for his team, as they still sit in the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but he is a step up from what Philadelphia fans have dealt with for the last handful of years.

His ranking is there because out of all the rookies that are eligible, he has the most points and rebounds per game after Embiid. The stats speak for themselves and his recent string of games have been a major plus to his ROY stock.

  1. Malcolm Brogdan SG, Milwaukee

The Bucks seem to have awful luck with injuries, and this season is no different. However they do have more than just the emergence of “The Greek Freak” to accredit this season with.

Brogdan was taken in the second round with the 36th pick and from there, this rookie has become a fan favorite in Wisconsin. His high basketball I.Q. is on display every night and with the early loss of Khris Middleton to injury, he got a large amount of minutes dropped right into his lap.

He has only started 14 of the 60 games he has appeared in, but averages around 25 minutes per game off the bench. In his time on the court he averages 9.8 points, 4.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and one steal per game.

If I had to pick one of these three to give the award to it would be Brogdan for his entertaining style of play and how well he has stepped up for a depleted Bucks’ roster.

  1. Yogi Ferrell PG, Dallas

This will probably come as a shock to many, seeing as the undrafted Indiana prospect has played less games than Embiid did at the time of his injury. My argument for Ferrell being here is that he wasn’t hindered by injuries, he was in free agency.

While he bounced around to a few teams before sticking with the Mavericks many other players were learning their team’s system or feeling comfortable with their position. Ferrell did not have that luxury.

He was fighting for a roster spot before Mark Cuban, Rick Carlisle and the Mavs front office inked him to a guaranteed deal after his outstanding play for their team. He was even named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for February and signed that multi-year deal with Dallas.

If he finishes the season out strong now that he is the full-time starter given the Deron Williams buy-out, I see no reason to hand the award to the little Hoosier that could.

About Cale Michael

    Recommended for you

    Powered by themekiller.com