Dennis Smith

Sixers' Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons lag behind in NBA Rookie Survey

Sixers' Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons lag behind in NBA Rookie Survey

The results are in … before a game has been played.

Thirty-nine rookies participated in NBA.com’s annual Rookie Survey, making their predictions for the top of their class in various categories. No. 1 picks Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz were on many ballots, while 2017 second overall pick Lonzo Ball and No. 9 pick Dennis Smith Jr. were popular among their peers.

Check out the results, with Sixers noted in bold.

Rookie of the Year:
1. Dennis Smith Jr., Mavericks: 25.7%
2. Lonzo Ball, Lakers: 20.0%
3. Markelle Fultz, Sixers: 17.1%
T-4. Ben Simmons, Sixers
/ Kyle Kuzma, Lakers / Donovan Mitchell, Jazz: 5.7%

Best career:
T-1. Lonzo Ball, Lakers / Jayson Tatum, Celtics: 18.4%
T-3. Josh Jackson, Suns / Dennis Smith Jr., Mavericks: 10.5%
5. De'Aaron Fox, Kings: 7.9%
T-6. Markelle Fultz, Sixers / Ben Simmons, Sixers / Harry Giles, Kings: 5.3%

Best playmaker?
1. Lonzo Ball, Lakers: 71.8%
2. Markelle Fultz, Sixers: 7.7%
3. Jawun Evans, Clippers / De'Aaron Fox, Kings / Dennis Smith Jr., Mavericks: 5.1%

Most athletic:
1. Dennis Smith Jr., Mavericks: 43.6%
2. Terrance Ferguson, Thunder: 12.8%
3. John Collins, Hawks: 10.4%
Fultz received votes.

Best shooter:
1. Luke Kennard, Pistons: 48.6%
2. Malik Monk, Hornets: 13.5%
3. Terrance Ferguson, Thunder: 10.8%
Fultz received votes.

Dennis Smith Jr. is not afraid to talk smack to Markelle Fultz's face

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Dennis Smith Jr. is not afraid to talk smack to Markelle Fultz's face

What's that one famous line from The Big Lebowski? "You're not wrong, Walter. You're just ..."

That's kind of how I feel after watching this clip of Dennis Smith Jr. talk some smack to our beloved Markelle Fultz.

The two were playing video games last week as part of some promotion and got into some (mostly) friendly banter.

Smith repeatedly hammers the Sixers about their losing ways.

"What's fun about losing games? Seriously, tell me what's fun about losing," Smith Jr. says. "What is fun about losing. Y'all ain't been doing nothing but losing. Y'all didn't even win a summer league game."

As Fultz correctly points out, "the season hasn't even started yet."

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Rookie of the Year odds lengthen for Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz after summer league

Rookie of the Year odds lengthen for Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz after summer league

Markelle Fultz's summer league experience was cut short because of injury. Ben Simmons didn't play. Still, with 2017's summer league action in the books, the two Sixers No. 1 picks have seen their odds of winning Rookie of the Year lengthen, according to Bovada. 

The Mavericks' Dennis Smith Jr. jumped Simmons on the list. In June, Smith was given 16/1 odds. After a solid first impression that earned him a spot on the summer league first team, his odds have been shortened to 3/1. In six games in Vegas, Smith averaged 17.3 points, 4.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.

As he was last month, Lakers second overall pick Lonzo Ball is still the favorite to win the award at 5/2 odds. As the NBA Summer League's MVP, Ball posted averages of 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. His four games with at least 10 assists were three more than any other player has ever recorded. The Lakers won the league despite Ball sitting out the championship win over the Trail Blazers with a calf strain.

Simmons has the third-best odds now, going from 3/1 to 7/2. The Celtics' Jayson Tatum is one spot behind him at 5/1, swapping his 9/1 odds with Fultz in the fifth-best position. Tatum's numbers impressed in both Utah and Vegas.

Another noteworthy move in the odds involves Atlanta's John Collins. Collins had 20/1 odds after the draft and played well in Vegas — 15.4 points and 9.2 boards per game. He got the first-team nod as well, but dropped a bit, now owning 33/1 odds for a share of the ninth-best likelihood of taking home the award.

Here's the full list of the 12 front-runners for Rookie of the Year:

Lonzo Ball: 5/2
Dennis Smith Jr.: 3/1
Ben Simmons: 7/2
Jayson Tatum: 5/1
Markelle Fultz: 9/1
De'Aaron Fox: 9/1
Josh Jackson: 16/1
Malik Monk: 16/1
Jonathan Isaac: 33/1
Justin Jackson: 33/1
Lauri Markkanen: 33/1
John Collins: 33/1