Ben Simmons

NBA Announces 2017/18 All-Rookie Teams

The NBA has officially announced its First and Second All-Rookie Teams for the 2017/18 season. Ben Simmons of the Sixers and Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz – widely viewed as the top two contenders for this season’s Rookie of the Year award – were the only two players to be unanimously selected to the First Team. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum received 99 of 100 potential First Team votes.

Listed below are the NBA’s All-Rookie teams for 2017/18, with the player’s vote total in parentheses. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.

First Team:

  • Ben Simmons, Sixers (200)
  • Donovan Mitchell, Jazz (200)
  • Jayson Tatum, Celtics (199)
  • Kyle Kuzma, Lakers (193)
  • Lauri Markkanen, Bulls (173)

Second Team:

Jackson, who received one First Team vote to go along with 43 Second Team votes, narrowly beat out Bam Adebayo of the Heat for the final spot on the Second Team — Adebayo finished with 44 points.

Outside of Adebayo and the 10 players who earned spots on the All-Rookie teams, 14 other players received votes, with De’Aaron Fox (Kings), OG Anunoby (Raptors), and Jarrett Allen (Nets) leading the way among that group.

Finalists For NBA Awards Announced

The top three finalists for each of this year’s NBA awards are being released on tonight’s TNT pre-game show. The trophies will be presented June 25 at the league’s official awards show.

Here’s an ongoing list that we will update as the candidates are announced, along with links to our staff’s picks for each honor:

Rookie of the Year

Hoops Rumors Analysis: ROY

Most Improved Player

Hoops Rumors Analysis: MIP

Sixth Man of the Year

Hoops Rumors Analysis: Sixth Man

Coach of the Year

  • Dwane Casey (Raptors)
  • Quin Snyder (Jazz)
  • Brad Stevens (Celtics)

Hoops Rumors Analysis: COY

Defensive Player of the Year

Hoops Rumors Analysis: DPOY

Most Valuable Player

Hoops Rumors Analysis: MVP

Poll: Who Is 2017/18 NBA Rookie Of The Year?

The 2017/18 NBA rookie class has looked deep and impressive this season, with many players from last year’s draft already assuming key roles on their NBA clubs. However, the battle for this season’s Rookie of the Year has essentially been a two-man race for months. With apologies to Jayson Tatum and others, the vote will almost certainly come down to Ben Simmons vs. Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell, the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft, has done his part to help Jazz fans forget about Gordon Hayward‘s departure, averaging a team-high 20.5 PPG to go along with 3.7 APG, 3.7 RPG, and 1.5 SPG. After coming off the bench for several games near the start of the season, Mitchell has been a mainstay in Utah’s starting lineup since November, and had been a huge reason why the Jazz hold the No. 4 seed in the West — the team is 42-27 in games Mitchell starts.

While Mitchell’s rookie year has been outstanding, don’t count Simmons among those who will admit to being impressed by the Jazz guard. Asked by ESPN’s Chris Haynes which rookies around the NBA have caught his attention this season, Simmons promptly replied, “None.” The Sixers‘ point guard also didn’t mince words when asked about his own pick for Rookie of the Year.

“Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent,” Simmons told Haynes. “I think I have been playing solid all year. If you look at the numbers, you will see. People who know the game know.”

Simmons’ numbers are certainly worth mentioning. While he hasn’t scored at the same rate as Mitchell, posting 16.0 PPG for the year, 2016’s first overall pick has filled up the stat sheet with 8.2 APG, 8.1 RPG, and 1.7 SPG after missing the entire 2016/17 season. He has also made 54.7% of his shots from the field, though the fact that he has attempted just 11 three-pointers all season helps buoy that mark.

Like Mitchell’s Jazz, Simmons’ Sixers are in position to host a first-round playoff series, potentially as the No. 3 seed. And as good as the two rookies have been, they also both play alongside star centers – Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid – who have arguably been the 2017/18 MVPs for Utah and Philadelphia, respectively. In other words, Mitchell and Simmons have very similar – and virtually equally compelling – cases for being named the 2017/18 Rookie of the Year.

What do you think? Would you pick Mitchell or Simmons as the 2017/18 Rookie of the Year? Is there another candidate that you think has a case to be at the forefront of the discussion? Does the fact that Simmons had an extra year of NBA seasoning affect your pick at all, even though he’s technically eligible for the award?

Vote below in our poll and jump into the comment section to share your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

And-Ones: Simmons, Rose, Hickson, Draft

Sixers rookie Ben Simmons used the start of the Final Four to take another swipe at the NCAA, relays Alysha Tsuji of USA Today.

“All this money being made and they get a swag bag at the end of it,” tweeted Simmons, who has clashed before with the NCAA over the lack of compensation for players. He spent one season at LSU before leaving for the NBA.

Simmons was included in a 2016 Showtime documentary called “One and Done” where he made a similar appeal for athletes to be paid. “Everybody’s making money except the players,” he said. “We’re the ones waking up early as hell to be the best teams and do everything they want us to do and then the players get nothing. They say education, but if I’m there for a year, I can’t get much education.”

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA player Malik Rose has been selected as G League Basketball Executive of the Year, the Hawks announced on their website. Rose serves as GM of the Erie BayHawks, Atlanta’s G League affiliate, who put together a 28-22 season and a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference. Rose, who played 13 NBA seasons, is also basketball operations manager for the Hawks.
  • J.J. Hickson has signed to play in Lebanon, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Hickson spent eight seasons in the NBA, with his last experience coming in 2015/16 when he split time with the Nuggets and Wizards. The 29-year-old has been playing in China since then.
  • USC center Chimezie Metu, who declared for the draft this week, will hire CAA sports as his representative, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Meto is projected to be taken between the 25th and 35th pick. Potential top-five selection  Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri is nearing an agreement with Mark Bartelstein and Priority Sports, according to Pick (Twitter link).

Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Simmons, Morris, Celtics

Markelle Fultz missed his 64th game of the season on Friday, which means time is running out on the possibility of his return this season. The Sixers‘ first-round pick (first overall) has missed most of the season with a shoulder injury that seems to have inhibited his shooting ability.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown gave his most definitive answer about Fultz’s status for the remainder of the year, saying he is unsure if the young guard will be able to return, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

“I truly don’t know,” Brown said. “Here I am telling you that. It’s that whole truth and nothing but the truth. I really don’t know.”

While Fultz is out with a shoulder injury, the specific reason for his absence is to relearn how to shoot. Either way, the Sixers likely will not get a significant contribution out of Fultz until next season at the earliest.

Check out more notes out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers have Ben Simmons listed as both a point guard and power forward and head coach Brett Brown can see a path for the Australian to play at the four exclusively. While Simmons does not mind playing the power forward, he prefers being a point guard, Pompey writes in a separate story. “Nah,” Simmons said. “I don’t want to play the four. I mean I’ll play the four, but I don’t want to be predominantly in the four position. I feel like I can do a lot more from the point-guard position as you’ve seen.”
  • The injury bug has hit the Celtics hard in recently as Daniel TheisMarcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown suffered season-altering injuries. In the wake of those health issues, Marcus Morris is the first Boston player to step up and take advantage of his new spot in the starting lineup, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston relays. Morris scored 31 points on Wednesday vs. Washington.
  • The Celtics are without Theis, Smart, Brown, and Gordon Hayward and it’s possible the team explores adding a player to offset the losses. Per Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe (Twitter links), if a league doctor feels Brown could miss two more weeks due to his concussion, the Celtics could be granted a 16th roster spot to add another player. However, Boston is optimistic Brown will return soon, which would make the team ineligible for the hardship provision.

Eastern Rumors: Magic, Mirotic, Parker, Simmons

The Magic will likely be in firesale mode approaching the trade deadline, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. Rival executives expect Orlando, which has sunk to the bottom of the conference standings, to shop guards Evan Fournier and Elfrid Payton and swingman Mario Hezonja, Stein adds. Fournier is signed through the 2020/21 season at $17MM annually. Payton can become a restricted free agent in the summer, while Hezonja will be an unrestricted free agent after the team declined to pick up his fourth-year option in October.

In other items regarding the Eastern Conference:

  • Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic is now eligible to be dealt and admitted to reporters, including ESPN’s Nick Friedell, that he’s motivated by the trade chatter. He signed a two-year, $27MM contract in September that includes a team option for next season. That made him ineligible to be moved until mid-January. “This is kind of some motivation for me,” he said. “I know it sounds weird. But people are talking, ‘OK, Niko be gone’ and ‘Bye bye, Niko’ or whatever. But for me, it’s OK, just do what you’ve got to do. Play well and try to do your best until the last day and not be distracted.”
  • Bucks forward Jabari Parker believes he’ll make his season debut before the All-Star break, he told Scott Grodsky of CBS 58 in Milwaukee. Parker tore his ACL in February, his second major knee injury since entering the league. Parker, who was assigned to the Bucks’ G League affiliate on Monday to continue his rehab, is targeting “the first two weeks before the All-Star game. It’s probably in that area.”
  • Sixers rookie Ben Simmons vows he won’t back down from a challenge, according to an Associated Press report. Simmons and the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry were ejected during the closing seconds on Monday after an altercation. Simmons believes that veteran opponents are trying to intimidate him. “I don’t know if they’re trying to test me or see how I am on the court, but I won’t play around,” he said.

Atlantic Notes: Noah, Dinwiddie, Embiid, Simmons

A back injury to Knicks center Enes Kanter forced the Turkish center to miss the team’s last three games. In his absence, Willy Hernangomez has received more playing time and in Monday’s loss, Joakim Noah played his first three minutes of the season. If Noah is active, the Knicks have four options at center since Kyle O’Quinn is still on the roster, and head coach Jeff Hornacek does not know how the team will manage their bigs, Alex Squadron of the New York Post relays.

Hornacek addressed sending Hernangomez to the G League so he can play consistent minutes, but downplayed that possibility.

“I don’t think we’ve discussed that so far,” Hornacek said. “As we move forward, if we’re back with Enes and Kyle, and maybe even Jo occasionally, we are going to need to figure that out. I don’t know if we can always dress four bigs.”

The Knicks are in an unenviable situation with four centers. Noah has two more expensive seasons on his contract after 2017/18, Kanter is the incumbent starter, O’Quinn has been a productive reserve, and Hernangomez is just 23 years old. Barring an injury – or stretching Noah – the Knicks will have to somehow find minutes at one position for four players the rest of the season.

Check out other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • Speaking of Noah, his three minutes on Monday included two points, one block, and one rebound. Jonathan Lehman of the New York Post writes that while the season debut was brief, Hornacek wanted to get energy from Noah in limited action. “Oh my god, it’s been so long,” Noah said. “Just to be on the court is special. … Playing in the Garden is something I’ll never take for granted.”
  • Spencer Dinwiddie has been productive for the Nets in the absence of Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell. In a recent podcast, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic and Dieter Kurtenbach of the San Jose Mercury-News discussed Dinwiddie’s trade value and Net Income at NetsDaily examined the possibility of the Nets trading their starting point guard.
  • Joel Embiids recovery from knee surgery has limited the Sixers big man in playing back-to-back games this season. As the start of December looms, head coach Brett Brown is unsure if Embiid can play a back-to-back starting with this week’s games on Wednesday and Thursday, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
  • Ben Simmons left the Sixers‘ loss versus the Cavaliers early on Monday after he sprained his right ankle — x-rays taken after the game were negative. Dave McMenamin of ESPN also detailed how Cavaliers — specifically forward Jae Crowder — shut down Simmons before his early exit.

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Simmons, Hinkie

While Joel Embiid has attracted much of the attention following a career night on Wednesday, it could be Sixers forward Ben Simmons who ends up changing the NBA, Mike Sielski of The Inquirer writes.

The scribe writes that the 2016 first-overall pick is coasting to the Rookie of the Year Award with averages of 17.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game. At the same time, the Sixers rookie is as marketable off the court as he is versatile on it.

Beyond all that, however, Sielski writes that Simmons’ openness about how pointless and unnecessary he feels the one-and-done rule preventing 18-year-olds from entering the NBA Draft is could add to his lasting impact on the league itself.

There’s more from the Sixers tonight:

  • The Process worked, Victor Mather of the New York Times writes. Mather breaks down the years-long, Sam Hinkie-led roster rebuild for the uninitiated.
  • Excitement around Joel Embiid grew ever so slightly this week as a stat-filling career best provided a glimpse into what could possibly be the Sixers’ future. That’s conditional, Sam Amick of USA Today writes, on if the big man can consistently stay on the court.
  • There have been no shortage of takes that LeBron James would be wise to join the Sixers via free agency next summer. Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype writes that Philly could punish the Warriors in the paint with James on board.

And-Ones: Youth Movement, Asian Influence, Seattle

The current crop of NBA rookies is one of the best that hoops fans have seen in years, Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders writes. The scribe cites Ben Simmons and Jayson Tatum as two first-year players who’ve looked poised and dominant in significant roles out of the gates.

It’s not just a top-heavy class either, however, all of Kyle Kuzma, Lauri Markkanen and Donovan Mitchell have impressed over the course of their first months in the NBA.

The youth movement may not be limited to the 2017/18 season though. Marc Spears of The Undefeated recently profiled the 12 best collegiate players who could make an impact at the NBA level as early as next season, going so far as to declare that Michael Porter Jr. should have greater star power than anybody in the 2017 class.

There’s more around the league:

  • As the world economy shifts, more and more prominent Asian businesses and billionaires are looking to buy into the NBA. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune breaks down the trend that formally started when Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor sold a 5% stake in the franchise to Lizhang Jiang.
  • While Tim Leiweke remains confident that he and his Oak View Group represent Seattle’s best chance of regaining an NBA franchise, it’s not necessarily going to happen as soon as some fans would hope. He spoke on the topic at length with Q13’s Bill Wixey.
  • The BIG3 will add retired point guard T.J. Ford to its ranks, an ESPN report says. The guard averaged 11.2 points and 5.8 assists per game over the course of 306 NBA starts in eight seasons.

Sixers Pick Up Four Options; Okafor In Limbo

The Sixers have exercised their 2018/19 rookie scale team options on four players, according to RealGM’s log of official NBA transactions. Philadelphia has picked up third-year options for Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, along with the fourth-year option for Justin Anderson.

[RELATED: Decisions On 2018/19 Rookie Scale Team Options]

That leaves Jahlil Okafor as the only player with a 2018/19 team option that has yet to be exercised. The Sixers could still pick up Okafor’s fourth-year option – which has a cap hit of about $6.3MM – at some point today. However, the club continues to explore potential trades involving the former third overall pick, and those trade talks could determine whether or not Okafor’s option gets exercised, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

Outside of Simmons’ option, which will count for about $6.4MM against the 76ers’ cap, the 2018/19 options picked up by the team so far are modest. Saric and and Anderson will have cap charges of about $2.5MM apiece, while Luwawu-Cabarrot’s will be a little over $1.5MM.

The decisions lock all four players in for the ’18/19 season, and Anderson will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2019, assuming he’s not extended during the 2018 offseason. Philadelphia will face fourth-year option decisions on Simmons, Saric, and Luwawu-Cabarrot a year from now.