How Does Ben Simmons Measure Up To Previous NBA Rookie Greats?

11.30.17 2 weeks ago 5 Comments

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Ben Simmons has gotten off to a spectacular start to his career. Spectacular enough, in fact, that he’s putting himself in some pretty elite company when you compare what he’s doing to what other NBA rookies have done before.

Before moving on, I want to clarify what it means to compare things. Think of the phrase “that’s comparing apples and oranges.” And that’s because apples and oranges are essentially different things, but they are both round, delicious, sugary fruits. There are ways they compare to one another; you just compare them with one another. The point of this article does not compare Simmons with any of the great players he’s putting himself on the same page with; it’s merely to demonstrate the similarities between his rookie seasons and theirs.

That’s significant because the list of names is pretty much elite. He’s not necessarily going to be a Hall of Famer, but he sure looks like a round, delicious, sugary fruit based on the early returns. So to speak

Let’s start with his overall numbers. He’s averaging 18.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 7.4 assists. Here are the players who have averaged 15/7/7 in their first years, per Basketball-Reference.com:

15 Points, 7 Rebounds, and 7 Assists in Rookie Season
Crit Crit Crit
Rk Player Season Age Tm Lg PTS AST TRB
1 Oscar Robertson 1960-61 22 CIN NBA 30.5 9.7 10.1
2 Magic Johnson 1979-80 20 LAL NBA 18.0 7.3 7.7
3 Ben Simmons 2017-18 21 PHI NBA 18.1 7.4 9.1
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/29/2017.

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