By Justin Batiste
Which rookie is more deserving of the rookie of the year award?
Seeing Philadelphia’s 76ers point guard, Ben Simmons and Utah Jazz, Donovan Mitchell being named co-rookies of the year wouldn’t be a bad thing, but it wouldn’t be the best thing either. Both players are well deserving of the award.
However, this award has to be given to one player. When has there ever been a co-MVP award? (The last time two players shared the rookie of the year award it was during the 1999-2000 season. Houston Rockets, Steve Francis and Chicago Bulls, Elton Brand both won this award.) With that being said, Mitchell is this year’s rookie of the year.
At the start of the season, Simmons looked to be the clear-cut favorite for rookie of the year, and then mid-season we started to see the emergence of Jazz guard, Donovan Mitchell. Although, Mitchell was playing good basketball, his team was on the outside looking into the playoffs, and the NBA only rewards winners. Meanwhile, Simmons and the 76ers were in the playoffs.
Well now, the Jazz are now a playoff team, and Mitchell is continueing to play great basketball (20.3 ppg, 43 FG%, 3.7 TRG, 3.6 APG). Not to mention, Mitchell isn’t your average 6-foot-6 shooting guard. He’s 6-foot-4. Which makes what he’s been doing even that much more imposing. Mitchell is an undersized shooting guard whose been performing like he’s been here before.
Ben Simmons is having a vast impact on the 76ers also, but he also has another all-star alongside him in Joel Embiid and he’s already spent a year in the NBA. On the other hand, Mitchell is doing the same thing, however, the only difference is Mitchell is doing this in a tougher conference, no other all-star and this is his official first year in the NBA.
Everything Simmons has been able to do for the 76ers this year has been nothing short of special. It’s just that Simmons has an advantage over Mitchell, and that’s experience. Even though it’s just a year, that’s still an unequal advantage. Now if you ask who’s the better player? Then the answer is Ben Simmons, but whose more deserving of the award? Then the answer is Donovan Mitchell.