NBA: Rookie of the Year Award
This year’s rookie class has been a mess when it comes to production. Headlined by the #1 overall pick Ben Simmons not even playing a game. The potential is there and we will get to see that on display next season when he will be in a dogfight for next season’s award with a death row of talent coming out in this year’s draft. Brandon Ingram who went second overall has been a work in progress and the Lakers have the perfect situation for him to work on his game and provide him the minutes he needs to morph into the next Antetokounmpo. Third overall pick Jaylen Brown for Boston has emerged as a nice rotation player that hasn’t started scratching the surface on his potential. Brown will have a big advantage over some of the other rookies being able to play crunch time minutes and gain valuable playoff experience. Kris Dunn hasn’t looked ready for the NBA game and Buddy Hield was traded as the
Third overall pick Jaylen Brown for Boston has emerged as a nice rotation player that hasn’t started scratching the surface on his potential. Brown will have a big advantage over some of the other rookies being able to play crunch time minutes and gain valuable playoff experience. Kris Dunn hasn’t looked ready for the NBA game and Buddy Hield was traded as the centerpiece of the Cousins trade that somehow has Sacramento playing rejuvenated ball. As you can see, it’s a barren wasteland of production from the top of the lottery which is unusual.
Third place: Before the angry Philly mob greets me with pitchforks and fire by not giving Joel Embiid rookie of the year pump your brakes a little. He played 31 games, I will repeat, he only played 31 games. Sure, Embiid’s numbers were off the charts for how much he affected the game on both ends. There was a huge difference in Philly when he was playing and the cliff they fell off when he would sit or rest was impeccable. Embiid deserved to be an All-Star over the albatross that is Carmelo Anthony. His season-ending knee injury derailed him from running away with this award that was prime for the taking. With a full offseason to get stronger and hopes that his knees hold up Embiid will be a force next season, it’s just a matter if he can stay on the court to finally see what the Sixers are capable of.
Second place: The late season surge of Dario Saric has taken notice around the league and will make him a close second for Rookie of the Year. Fantasy owners couldn’t be happier with Saric having a green light to go bonkers and isn’t disappointing. Saric has cracked the 20pt mark in five out of his last ten games and sporting an efficient line from the field in the process as the main focal point of the offense. The trade of the artist formerly known as Ersan Ilyasova at the deadline did wonders for Saric’s minutes and experience down the stretch that he needs to keep showing improvement. With a nice mid-range jump shot and a good post-up game, Saric provides the versatility for Philly moving forward into next season.
Your 2016-2017 Rookie of the Year: Ladies and Gentlemen (drum roll) your winner Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite being a second-round pick Brogdon has emerged as a reliable starter as the point guard who is more than capable of running Head Coach Jason Kidd’s offense. Brogdon has shown his passing abilities to be better than anticipated and can handle the speed of the NBA game, unlike Kris Dunn. The combination of good three-point shooting and his low assist to turnover ratio forces Kidd to keep him on the floor over Dellavedova. With season averages of 10 points a game over four assists, just over a steal per contest, shooting close to 45% and over a three per game. Brogdon has Milwaukee knocking on the door of the playoffs and has played a larger role than Saric to earn this prestigious award.