After the 2016 NBA draft, Brandon Ingram became the favorite to win the 2017 Rookie of the Year. With Ben Simmons sidelined, the No. 2 overall pick is expected to excel among all the rookies. As the season goes, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is looking to challenge Ingram for the award.
Joel Embiid continues to impress in the 2016-17 NBA season. Unlike other rookies, Embiid is entering his third year in the league. He missed the past two seasons after suffering injuries in 2014. After recovery, the former third overall pick is now a star in the City of Brotherly Love.
Before the start of the season, Joel Embiid was expected to battle for playing time with Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. However, both big men suffered injuries that gave Embiid the starting role. In 11 games, he is averaging 18.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in limited minutes.
“I really feel like I’m The Process,” he told Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins, “like The Process is about me.”
The Sixers are indeed struggling this season. Still, they acquired high-end draft picks who have potentials to become superstars. With Ben Simmons out, Embiid will continue to be the star on offense in Philadelphia. In the NBA rookie rankings, Embiid is at No.1.
Brandon Ingram, who is projected to win the 2017 Rookie of the Year, is yet to showcase his full potential. After the draft, Ingram admitted that he wanted to win the award.
“[My goal is to] be the best basketball player that I can be, and also win Rookie of the Year,” said Ingram. “Just try to get my teammates involved and be the best player that I can be each and every day.
As of now, Ingram only average 6.8 points and 3.0 rebounds on 24 minutes on the court. He may not have impressive stats but his defensive play is outstanding. Still, it is too early to predict who will be named as the best rookie of 2017. Players like Jaylen Brown, Dario Saric, and Domantas Sabonis continue to make an impact and are posing potential threats for Embiid and Ingram.
Photo courtesy: Habergaraj/Flickr