NBA has ‘no plans’ to alter Rookie of the Year rules amid Simmons-Mitchell debate
After coming off of last year’s rather boring Rookie of the Year award chases that was won by Malcolm Brogdon, this season had one of the most heated Rookie of the Year races ever, one that came down to Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons and Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell.
One of the biggest arguments against Simmons winning the award is that he was technically in the NBA the previous season, but did not play a single game due to an injury.
According to NBA rules, he remained a rookie this season due to no game experience. Many people believe the rule should be change so only “true” rookies are eligible for the award. Despite this compelling argument, NBA commissioner Adam Silver insists there will not be a change to the rules for the Rookie of the Year award.
A league source told ESPN that the NBA might be interested in adopting a rookie designation similar to that of Major League Baseball, where if a player competes in minimal games his rookie season due to injury, he would qualify for Rookie of the Year the next season.
However, Silver said he hasn’t had any conversations about that.
“I’m always open for suggestions,” he said, “but I don’t see anything happening there.”
“We had a great rookie class playing an exciting brand of basketball. I’m always open to changes, but that’s not something that’s on the table.”
Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons unanimously headline 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie First Team! pic.twitter.com/XNmLHgEqiU
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) May 22, 2018
As is stands, Simmons is considered the favorite to win the award but Mitchell is quickly closing the gap. Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists while shooting 55% from the field on the season. Mitchell, meanwhile, averaged 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game on 44% shooting in 2017-18.