Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons has been named the winner of the Rookie of the Year award for the 2017-18 season during the second ever NBA Awards Show.
The Sixers selected Simmons with the number one overall pick in the 2016 draft, but he missed his entire first season because of a foot injury, making him eligible to win the award as a redshirt rookie.
The race for ROY began to heat up as the regular season came to a close with Simmons and Mitchell going back-and-forth on social media and within the press, making their case as to why they should win the award. Some of the highlights include Simmons saying that no other rookies have caught his attention and Mitchell wearing an Adidas hoodie with the definition of the word “rookie” on the front.
Simmons, along with Joel Embiid, was a leader for the Sixers as they won 52 games and earned the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs before the Boston Celtics eliminated the Sixers in five games during the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Sixers will look to add even more talent to their young roster and make an even deeper run in the playoffs next season.
Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game, playing in all but one game this past season. He joins Hall-of-Fame guard Oscar Robertson as the only other rookie in league history to average splits of at least 15/8/8.
The 2017-18 rookie class was one of the deepest in recent memory and next season’s class projects to be another crop of special prospects.