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June 26, 2017

2017 NBA Rookie of the Year: Bucks' Malcolm Brogdon tops Sixers' Joel Embiid and Dario Saric

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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.

PER GAME



PTS


REB


AST


BLK

FG%
3P%
eFG%

Embiid


20.2


7.8


2.1


2.5

46.6
36.7
50.8

Saric


12.8


6.3


2.2


0.4

41.1
31.1
46.8

Brogdon


10.2


2.8


4.2


0.2

45.7
40.4
51.8

PER 36 MINS


PTSREB AST STL BLK TOV
Embiid
28.711.1 3.0 1.2 3.5 5.4
Saric
17.68.7 3.1 1.0 0.5 3.1
Brogdon
13.93.9 5.8 1.5 0.2 2.1

Here's an even more in-depth (and color-coded) breakdown of their stats:

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:

And finally, Embiid had a classy response:


Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

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