Joel Embiid: I should be Rookie of the Year

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Joel Embiid endorsed 76ers teammate for Dario Saric for Rookie of the Year.

But apparently Embiid has backed another candidate – himself.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

Embiid believes he should be crowned NBA Rookie of the Year.

“I think so,” Embiid said. “I mean, no disrespect to other guys. Dario [Saric] is my teammate and my friend, and I love him. And I know Malcolm [Brogdon] from when I was visiting schools. When I made my visit to Virginia, he took me around. They both had great seasons.

“I know people are saying about me, ‘Oh, he only played 31 games.’ But look at what I did in those 31 games — averaging the amount of points I did in just 25 minutes.

“I’m not sure why people want to punish me for that. Even going back to the All-Star Game. I didn’t get chosen for that, and people were killing me because I didn’t play 30 minutes a game. But here’s what I don’t understand: If I put up those numbers in less time than another guy, what’s the difference? Doesn’t it mean I did more in less time? Wait until I play as many minutes as those guys, then you will see what I do.

“But people have their own ideas about how they vote for things.”

Embiid was, by far, the best rookie when he was on the court. That’s why he’s in the Rookie of the Year race.

But, as the cliché goes, availability is the most ability. Embiid was often unavailable.

Did Embiid provide more value to the 76ers in his 786 minutes than Malcolm Brogdon did to the Bucks in his 1,982 minutes?

I gave Brogdon the narrowest of nods. (Dario Saric, inefficient and weak defensively, made a strong late push but never seriously entered my race.)