The rookie of the year race is all but over, Ben Simmons should be the clear winner. The only people who are arguing that at this point are Jazz fans or Sixers haters. However, Ben Simmons has a good case for a bigger honor than rookie of the year, an All-NBA 3rd team.
Simmons is eligible to be either a guard or a forward on the All-NBA ballots (from ESPN’s Zach Lowe), which definitely helps him. You figure the 10 players on the 1st and 2nd All-NBA teams will be Harden, LeBron, Davis, KD, Lillard, Embiid, Giannis, DeRozan, Aldridge, and Westbrook (or something similar to this). But, there’s a chance Simmons could find himself on the 3rd team. The 6’10 point guard is averaging 15.9 points, 8.2 assists, and 8.2 rebounds per game. That statline has only been put up by 5 other players, all of whom are Hall of Famers or future Hall of Famers, meanwhile Ben Simmons is only a ROOKIE! That not to mention Ben’s solid, versatile defense and his high scoring efficiency on offense.
Simmons is on a 50+ win team and he has now led the Sixers to a 10-8 record without Embiid in the lineup. Ben’s competition at guard would be Oladipo, CP3, Curry, and Kyrie, while his competition at forward is Paul George and Jimmy Butler. Steph, Kyrie, and Jimmy Butler have all missed 22 games or more and the 76ers have a better record then Butler’s Timberwolves. If Simmons does get an All-NBA spot it would likely be that 3rd team forward spot next to Paul George.
If Ben does fall short of this accomplishment I wouldn’t be as surprised as I was at his All-Star snub, but there’s no doubt that our point guard deserves some consideration.
Statistics from https://www.basketball-reference.com/
Photo from USA Today Images