June 26, 2017
Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon has been named the 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year, beating out other finalists, Sixers center Joel Embiid and forward Dario Saric.
Earlier on Monday, it was announced that both Embiid and Saric, who was a unanimous selection along with Brogdon, were named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. It also marked the first time in franchise history that two players earned that distinction in the same season.
Embiid, who was unquestionably the most dominant when he was on the floor, was likely hurt by the fact that he appeared in just 31 games this season – no one has ever won Rookie of the Year while playing so little – and was on a minutes restriction. Still, his numbers were eye-popping.
Here's a look at how the stats of the three finalists compared.
Here's an even more in-depth (and color-coded) breakdown of their stats:
Now that the regular season is complete, here is where the NBA Rookie of the Year race stands for the top three candidates. pic.twitter.com/1D9FZsDro7— Lukas Harkins (@hardwiredsports) April 13, 2017
Back in April, our own Rich Hofmann wrote that he didn't believe Embiid would win Rookie of the Year, despite the fact that he's "one of the best rookies in NBA history" – not to mention one of the most entertaining. Here's what he had to say.
My gut feeling is that Embiid won’t win, and it will be interesting to see how the votes shake out. In the latest NBA.com rookie ladder, Scott Howard-Cooper writes, “He is the guy who could get first-place votes and also be left out off the ballot by others.”
I wouldn’t fault someone for voting Embiid, simply because his 786 minutes could have been more impactful than Saric and Malcolm Brogdon’s 2000. Again, rookies aren’t good!
Call me old-fashioned in this regard, but I just can’t get there. Embiid is one of the most exciting rookies in NBA history, but just like his all-star case, Process trusting doesn’t make up for the minutes disparity. Embiid is one of the best rookies in NBA history, but he needs to play more consistently moving forward. [PhillyVoice, 4/7/17]
And when it came down to Saric vs. Brogdon, here's what Rich had to say:
It’s a tricky choice because I’m not certain either player would be as effective if they traded roles. Brogdon’s efficiency would likely plummet as the top scoring option in Philly, while Saric’s shaky jumper might mess with the Bucks’ spacing.
Considering Brogdon is a year and a half older than Saric and playing more in an off-ball role, I think Dario will have the better career as he refines his three-point shot. But if we’re really rewarding the best rookie season, Brogdon definitely has a case if Embiid is out of the running. [PhillyVoice, 4/10/17]
Needless to say, Sixers fans were not happy with how the voting played out. Here are some reactions from Twitter:
I, for one, can't wait for a reporter to ask 9x NBA Finals MVP Joel Embiid about his ROY snub when he retires in 2030.— Adam Hermann (@adamwhermann) June 27, 2017
I will try not to hold this against Malcolm Brogdon, who is great and will be great for a decade.— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) June 27, 2017
I will fail. Brogdon must suffer.
So sick of the blatant anti-Philly bias in NBA Rookie of the Year voting. Just one in the last 20 years- outrageous!— FakeWIPCaller (@FakeWIPCaller) June 27, 2017
Malcolm Brogdon was never voted Rookie of the Month but won ROY.— Drew Fultz (@Dcorrigan50) June 27, 2017
"Thank you to Joel Embiid for getting injured so I can win the award," Malcolm Brogdon probably.— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) June 27, 2017
Smh!!!!!— Robert Covington (@Holla_At_Rob33) June 27, 2017
Who is Malcolm Brogdon?— Bobby Hughes (@CoachBarney) June 27, 2017
TEAMS EACH SIXERS YOUNGSTER SHOULD DOMINATE:— Patrick Wall (@ByPatrickWall) June 27, 2017
Fultz: LAL & BOS
We’re gonna look back and laugh at this when Brogdon is working the rope line at Embiid’s half of fame induction.— Kyle Scott (@CrossingBroad) June 27, 2017
I like Brogdon - good for him - but who are we kidding it was Embiid.— Darnay Tripp (@DarnayTripp) June 27, 2017
Malcolm Brogdon averaged 10.8/4.2/2.8 this year and probably won't get much better in the future. People will look back on this and laugh.— MAARRRKKKEELLLLE (@bliv94) June 27, 2017
Fly to Vegas right now and bet the house on the Sixers in every game vs. Bucks next season ...— Bob Vetrone Jr. (@BoopStats) June 27, 2017
And finally, Embiid had a classy response:
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
Like the PhillyVoice Sports Facebook page.