Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell have added a new debate to the NBA Rookie of the Year award
Should the NBA change its rules for Rookie of the Year eligibility?
The Rookie of the Year (ROY) showdown between Philadelphia 76ers “redshirt rookie” Ben Simmons and Utah Jazz “true freshman” Donovan Mitchell won’t be decided until the NBA Awards on June 25. Simmons was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016 but missed the entire 2016-17 season due to injury. He entered the 2017-18 season with zero NBA games played, retaining ROY eligibility. This does not sit well with Mitchell — or All-Star John Wall, who was runner-up to Blake Griffin for ROY in 2011, under similar circumstances. For our money, the $5.9 million salary Simmons earned while sitting out in 2016-17 is evidence enough that this season was not his “rookie” year in the NBA.