Countdown to NBA 2019: Most Valuable Player Candidates, #18

The countdown continues! We have reached #18 on the MVP candidates list and this one is another young guy. Another former #1 pick, this NBA phenom won the Rookie of the Year award after his second season, not his rookie year.

#18 Ben Simmons

Guard/Forward, Philidelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons was the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, he would go on to play a grand total of 0 games in the 2016-2017 season. Simmons had suffered an injury while in college and essentially red-shirted his rookie season as an NBA player. Then things got interesting, to say the least. In his “rookie” season, Simmons would nearly average a triple-double as he would have a 15, 8, and 8 stat line that would prove to be enough to grant him the coveted award. The drama with this is that Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell was equally as impressive and was legitimately in his first year in the NBA. All that drama aside, Simmons has proven to be one of the league’s best players in his 2 (technically 3) seasons in the NBA. We’ve established that he has won a ROY award and obviously he was named to the All-Rookie team as well, but last year was Simmons first of probably many All-Star appearances. As his stats will show, Simmons is a threat to get a triple-double every time he steps on the court. The issue for Simmons is that he can’t shoot the ball. No joke, Simmons does not have a jump shot. He flat out refuses to shoot 3-pointers, an oddity in today’s NBA, and almost exclusively scores his points from within the paint. If Simmons develops his shot this season, watch out. Simmons had a PER of 20.07 (league average is 15.00) last season which was good enough to place him at 48th in the entire NBA. Simmons can stuff the stat sheet, but can he win over the voters?

Simmons is currently at +8000 (Bovada) to win the NBA MVP award. Do you think Simmons will win the MVP? Let me know in the comments below!

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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