Joel Embiid digs Donovan Mitchell, but says Ben Simmons deserves Rookie of the Year

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have formed a dynamic partnership on the floor in their first season together with the Philadelphia 76ers. And on Friday night, they’ll get to bring that cohesion to the Rising Stars Challenge, where they’ll suit up for Team World along with another Sixer, Dario Saric.

Ahead of the big event for the young players, Embiid was asked about Simmons’ chances of winning Rookie of the Year. While Embiid said there’s “no question” that Simmons should win the award, he did make sure to do the professional thing and show Donovan Mitchell some love.

Embiid’s full comments:

“Oh definitely. We’re in the playoff race and his numbers are insane and he’s been helping us a lot. So I feel like there’s no question, he should win Rookie of the Year. I’ve been seeing that people kinda like discredit him by saying that it’s because he plays with me. No, it’s not. We help each other, we’re still learning how to play with each other. We help each other so much on the court. He helps me a lot, I’m sure I help him a lot, but I don’t think there’s any question he should be Rookie of the Year.”

“Yeah, he’s [Mitchell] really good. I like his game. He’s athletic, he can score the ball, defense. I like his game a lot.”

Simmons has been phenomenal this season, as for most of the first half was seen as the front-runner for the award. He’s putting up 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game, while shooting nearly 53 percent from the field. 

However, Mitchell has led the Utah Jazz’s surge into the playoff picture and has been garnering plenty of support for the honor. Mitchell has helped the Jazz to 11 straight wins, and is leading all rookies in scoring at nearly 20 points per game.