Three Clear Favorites for 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year & 2 Are 76ers

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 5:39 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jun. 27, 2017 5:39 PM UTC

The Philadelphia 76ers have had two NBA Rookies of the Year in their history, and the odds are good that the franchise adds a third in the 2017-18 season with two of the betting favorites.

No Brogdon Fluke Coming In 2017-18

Before we look at 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year odds, I’ll all but guarantee you that no player taken in the second round of June’s draft will win the award. Last year at this time, you couldn’t even bet on Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon to win the 2016-17 award. That’s because he was a 36th overall pick and no second-rounder in the common draft’s history had won ROY. Yet Brogdon did, mainly because Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid was limited to 31 games as he was clearly the best rookie.

Embiid was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft and hadn’t played until last season due to foot injuries. In the NFL, you can only win Rookie of the Year in the year drafted. That’s not the case in the NBA. For example, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin won it in 2010-11 after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2009 draft but missing that first season due to injury.

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Third ROY For Philly?

The Philadelphia 76ers have had two Rookies of the Year: Allen Iverson in 1996-97 and Michael-Carter Williams in 2013-14. Iverson is a legend and Hall of Famer. MCW has proven a bust and is likely the least accomplished ROY since Emeka Okafor in 2004-05 if not longer.

On BetOnline NBA odds, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons is a co-+250 favorite for next season’s Rookie of the Year with the Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, while the 76ers’ Markelle Fultz is +500.

Simmons was the top pick in the 2016 draft but sat out all last season due to foot troubles. He has been compared to Magic Johnson for his passing ability. As 6-foot-10, Simmons is expected to be the primary ball-handler on the 76ers. One problem: He can’t shoot a lick. In his one season at LSU, Simmons attempted just three 3-pointers. He’s not even a great free-throw shooter, hitting only 67 percent in college.

Thus the 76ers knew they needed an off-ball guard to play opposite Simmons who could score, and that’s why the team traded the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft and either a Lakers or Kings future first-rounder to Boston to move up to No. 1 this year and take Fultz. What does he have in common with Simmons? Their college teams stunk and didn’t even make the NCAA Tournament. Maybe that means something, maybe it doesn’t. I’m not sure Simmons will score enough as a rookie to win this award.

No rookie will have a brighter spotlight on him than the Lakers’ Ball, selected at No. 2 overall. He has a lot to live up to thanks to his loudmouth father – you already hear that other players across the NBA can’t wait to teach Lonzo a lesson for his father’s bragging. That said, Ball is going to run the team from Day 1 and has been compared to young Jason Kidd for his elite passing ability. Ball does have a funky shot delivery and could struggle to score at first. The Lakers have never had a ROY since moving to Los Angeles. Nope, Magic Johnson didn’t win it. Larry Bird did that 1979-80 season.

The only other players below +1200 are the Mavericks’ Dennis Smith (+650), Kings’ De’Aaron Fox (+900) and Hornets’ Malik Monk (+900). Smith was chosen No. 9 overall by Dallas and he’s an incredibly explosive point guard. He was one of only two players in Division last season to have two triple-doubles.  The only knock on him was a lack of effort at times at NC State.  Fox is an absolute blur on the court in the mode of John Wall, but Fox can’t shoot. Some were surprised that Monk slipped to Charlotte at No. 11. All he can do is shoot but lacks size for a 2-guard.

I’m leaning Smith because Simmons and Fultz might cancel each other out and Ball will only rack up assists. Frankly, the media might punish Ball too for his father.

Free NBA Pick: Smith +650Best Line Offered: BetOnlineBet On NBA Futures At SBR's Top Sportsbooks
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