Rookie of the Year voting is over, but it seems like the debate will rage on over who deserves to win the award for years to come, even after Ben Simmons or Donovan Mitchell gets the honor next month. Both players have been sensational this year, but the debate surrounding the two has basically turned into whether Simmons’ one year in the league that was spent on the sidelines should disqualify him for the award.
Those who disagree with that assertion point out that Simmons was sidelined with a broken foot, and he did not willingly sit out during his first year in the league. On the other end of the spectrum, the argument is that spending a year existing in the NBA and getting a taste of the coaching, training, and lifestyle that comes with being a professional basketball player is an invaluable experience.
Ultimately, those who vote on awards will determine whether Simmons should be, for lack of a better word, disqualified for “redshirting,” or if he and Mitchell will be judged on their numbers and impact on their teams. Should it be the latter, while Mitchell has been great, Simmons has a résumé that is hard to beat.