We’ll have to wait and see who is name the winner of the Rookie of the Year award until later tonight, but two Sixers landed top rookie honors for their work this season. Joel Embiid and Dario Saric were both named to the 2016-17 All-Rookie First Team on Monday, becoming the first teammates to do so since 2007-08.
The honor doesn’t come without some controversy, however. Saric was a unanimous selection the First Team, but Embiid was named on just 89 ballots by voters, two less than New Orleans/Sacramento’s Buddy Hield, who was objectively bad for roughly 2⁄3 of the season. This should prepare you for the fact that Embiid is not going to be a real contender for Rookie of the Year, despite being the best rookie in his class by far.
Here’s a look at the full ballot for the awards, for perspective:
2017 NBA All-Rookie team: pic.twitter.com/KZp2D7DUf8— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 26, 2017
This just about locks in Brogdon as the Rookie of the Year. Some of the people who view the Sixers more favorably will probably find it hard to give it to Saric since he wasn’t the best rookie on his own team, and coupled with the fact that Embiid will be left off of ballots altogether, Brogdon will likely mediocre his ass all the way to a Rookie of the Year award.
I don’t necessarily want to pile on Brogdon specifically—he seems like a nice kid—but giving the award to a guy who was never the best rookie in his own conference for a single month of the season still seems stupid to me. Rewarding relentless mediocrity is not the right way to go about handing out awards in my book; it would be like voting for the Academy Awards and deciding the only criteria your decision would be based on is runtime.
At this point though, is it even worth being mad at? The Sixers got Markelle Fultz, we’re ever closer to the beginning of next season, and nothing Brogdon does will ever make him the caliber of player Embiid already is.
In other awards news, Robert Covington got some well-deserved recognition from voters, pulling in 11 points for All-Defense voting. That put him just behind LeBron James and Jimmy Butler, and at the back of the league’s top-20 defensive players. For a guy who came into the league almost exclusively as a shooter, that’s a pretty extraordinary achievement for RoCo.
Here’s what the ballot looked like for that one.
Not too much to get mad at there—defensive votes are nearly always a joke—aside from my burning desire to know who voted for Isaiah Thomas for an All-Defense team. They should lose their vote for life.