After the 2016 NBA Draft, some sports analysts and basketball fans prematurely crowned Philadelphia 76ers' No. 1 pick Ben Simmons as the inevitable Rookie of the Year for the 2016-17 season. However, it appears that the incoming class of NBA rookies is not very high on Simmons. Most of them believed that Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Kris Dunn is going to be the ultimate star.
Dunn: The Popular Choice of NBA Rookies
NBA.com recently conducted a poll to 38 first-year NBA players and asked who will be the Kia Rookie of the Year for the 2016-17 season. Majority of the NBA rookies picked Dunn as their choice to bring home the hardware. The 22-year-old point guard, who was the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft by the Timberwolves, received 29 percent of the total number of votes.
On the other hand, Simmons finished far from the top spot with 19.4 percent. Los Angeles Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram was Dunn's closest rival with 25.8 percent.
Moreover, the new rookie class also believed that Dunn will have a better career than Simmons. Dunn garnered 16.7 percent while Simmons got 6.7 percent only. In addition, the rookies also voted Dunn as the best playmaker, best defender and funniest player in the class.
Simmons: The Undisputed Fan-Favorite
While Dunn is popular among his classmates, Simmons continues to be the fan-favorite. Simmons' recent NBA merchandise sales ahead of his rookie season are a proof that he remains the favorite rookie of the NBA fans.
Per Inquirer Daily News, Fanatics.com revealed that Simmons is already the 10th-best seller among NBA players even if he has not played an NBA game yet. The 20-year-old point guard is also the highest-selling Philadelphia athlete in all sports across the online sports-apparel website.
Chris Heck, chief sales and marketing officer of the the 76ers, said that it is fascinating to see a rookie like Simmons joining the ranks of LeBron James, Stephen Curry and other All-Star players in the top ten bestsellers. He stressed that Simmons possesses charisma, intelligence and good looks that fit on how today's athletes are viewed in pop culture.
2016-17 NBA Season Predictions
The ESPN Forecast team projected that Ben Simmons will win the 2016-17 NBA Rookie of the Year. The 6-foot-10 forward garnered a total of 207 points from the panel. Dunn trailed behind with 89 points.
Moreover, Fran Blinebury of NBA.com also named Simmons as his top choice for the Rookie of the Year honors. He said that Simmons has the size, the knack and the skills that make a good NBA player.
Who will win Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons or Kris Dunn? Share your thoughts by joining our poll below.