Who Should Win Rookie of the Year?
May 11, 2018
The rookie guard for the Utah Jazz, Donovan Mitchell has definitely shown his dominance in the league. He has carried his team to the playoffs with his outstanding scoring ability averaging more than 20 points per game. However, as impressive as that is it’s not enough to surpass the rookie Ben Simmons who has shown that he is a better overall player. Simmons in his first year playing he has averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and, 8.1 assist per game. Simmons has had 5 triple-doubles this year which, is more made by a rookie since the 1983-84 season. Donovan Mitchell has not had a triple-double or double-double this season.
Based on the NBA’s tracking data Simmons averages 16.1 potential assist per game which is the 5th most this season throughout the league. Lebron James is the only player who averages more than Simmons (17.7) in their positions, excluding point guards. For comparison Donovan Mitchell only averages 6.6.
It’s going to be a tough choice between the two. If you want a rookie that scores a bunch, Donovan Mitchell is your rookie of the year. If you want a better all around player to win Ben Simmons is the one to beat.
“He is the stone cold Rookie of the year.” Said Brett Brown, coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, on Ben Simmons.
There are a couple things that keep Mitchell ahead of Simmons. A lot of people disagree with Simmons winning the Rookie of the year because he isn’t a real “rookie”. He came into the league in the 2016 draft pick. The only reason he is considered a rookie is because he got injured during the NBA Summer League. This injury didn’t allow him to play a single game during the 16-17 season.
With his scoring ability the young rookie donovan mitchell has also stepped up to take leadership of his team. When the Utah Jazz lost key player Gordon Hayward they needed a leader. Mitchells performance on and off the court have proven that he has what it takes to lead his team.
“I think he should be rookie of the year, for sure,” All Star Damian Lillard said of Donovan Mitchell. “Not just because of his numbers, but his impact on their team. He’s basically leading them. It’s special to see a rookie be able to do what he’s doing out there.”
Simmons might be the better overall player but, Mitchell has had a huge impact on his team. He also won the Verizon Slam dunk contest his rookie year. He has shown his incredible ability to score and will continue to improve. Donovan Mitchell deserves Rookie of the year.