Following the 2016 NBA Draft, the NBA world was singing Philadelphia 76ers’ No. 1 pick Ben Simmons’ praises, with few hesitating to prematurely crown him as the inevitable Rookie of the Year.
Fast forward a couple of months, however, and it doesn’t look like other NBA rookies agree with that assessment.
NBA.com polled 38 of the league’s rookies on a number of questions, including “Who will be Rookie of the Year?”, “Who will have the best career?”, and “Who is the best playmaker?”, among others. In all three of these polls, Simmons did not top the polls. In fact, he finished far from the top spot in two of the three biggest questions.
It seems that, even though Simmons went No. 1 overall, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Kris Dunn looks like the rookie that’s impressed his peers the most, garnering 29% of the vote for “Who will be Rookie of the Year?,” with Simmons finishing third with just 19.4% of the votes.
Simmons polled even worse in the “Who will have the best career?” poll, tying for fourth place with 6.7% of the vote while Los Angeles Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram topped the poll with 26.7%.
Even in the poll for best playmaker, something that Simmons has garnered praise for, he still finished behind Dunn, 29.4% to 26.5%.
Obviously, this is just a poll and doesn’t reflect what will actually happen. As NBA.com’s John Schumann says, “This makes four straight years where the No. 1 pick was not selected by his fellow rookies to win the Kia Rookie of the Year award. Of course, the No. 1 pick has been the Kia Rookie of the Year each of the last two seasons.” That said, the lack of faith that Simmons’ fellow rookies have in him is surprising.
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