Monday night in Santa Monica, California the NBA will hold its second annual awards show where we’ll learn the league’s MVP, Sixth Man of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year, and Rookie of the Year.
That last category may provide the most intrigue. Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum are on the short list to win the award.
A fierce battle raged for much of the 2017-18 NBA season. It centers around whether Simmons should even be eligible to be named Rookie of the Year. Simmons was the number one overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He sat out all of his “first” season courtesy of a foot injury. He made his NBA debut on October 18th, 2017 against the Washington Wizards.
“I really don’t think so.”
“Sitting out and then playing the next year, I think that does absolutely give you an advantage.”
Had the Sixers at any time decided to pull that redshirt from Simmons, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
Following the 2014 NBA Draft, Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle missed all but 13 minutes, 34 seconds of his freshman campaign. Prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, the league ruled that Randle would not be considered for ROY, his rookie status forfeited the second he stepped on the floor.
Before Randle, Blake Griffin and Nerlens Noel both missed season number one in its entirety. In season two Griffin was named ROY, the first unanimous winner since David Robinson swept voting following the 1989-90 season. In 2015 Noel finished third behind Andrew Wiggins and Nikola Mirotic.
We’ll find out what voters think tonight at 9p ET on TNT. Until then, give Scoop B’s podcast a listen. There’s lots of good stuff here.