Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons is a top candidate for the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year award. Although you can expect Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell to give him a run for his money, with the way Simmons has been playing this year it looks like the Sixers forward might run away with it.
But despite the obvious rivalry between the two, Simmons says he isn’t looking forward to winning the award to best Mitchell. Instead, Simmons wants to avenge the loss of the accolade by teammates Joel Embiid and Dario Saric last season.
Speaking to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Simmons revealed he was looking forward to trying to edge out other players as a homage to his teammates, in more than one way.
“I feel like I’d kind of be winning it for Dario and Jo for their year,” he said.
“It would just mean a lot,” Simmons said of the award. “Just playing with these guys, I wouldn’t have got to the stage where I would be considered Rookie of the Year if it wasn’t for them. They make it easy for me.”
Embiid was a leading candidate last season for the year before his season was shortened by injury. Saric finished second in the voting behind eventual winner Malcolm Brogdon.
Simmons leads Mitchell in VORP, netRTG, assist percentage, rebounding, true shooting, and effective field goal percentage despite the Sixers rookie going 0-for-11 from 3-point range this year.