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2017 PBT Awards: Rookie of the Year

76ers Bucks Basketball

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid knocks the ball from Milwaukee Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon (13) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


Kurt Helin

1. Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks

2. Joel Embiid, 76ers

3. Willy Hernangomez, Knicks

The vote on this comes down to one simple question: Is 31 games enough? Because undoubtedly Embiid was the best when he played, but he only played in 37.8 percent of his team’s games and he played nearly 1.200 fewer minutes than Brogdon. That’s not enough for me. I went with the Bucks’ rookie because he became a steady part of the rotation for a playoff team, making a bigger contribution than his peers. Also, no Dario Saric — he put up a lot of numbers for two months after Embiid went down because the Sixers needed someone to take shots, but he wasn’t terribly efficient and was more of a gunner.

Note: Helin has an official ballot this year.

Dan Feldman

1. Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks

2. Joel Embiid, 76ers

3. Dario Saric, 76ers

The question for me with these awards: Who contributed most to his team this season? Obviously, a player can’t contribute when he’s injured. So, did Joel Embiid contribute more in 31 games or Malcolm Brogdon in 75 games? It was close – extremely close. Embiid was so good when healthy and the rest of this rookie class was so weak, when he got hurt, I thought he’d deserve this award. But Brogdon had a big enough March to help lift Milwaukee into the playoffs that his steadier production overtook Embiid’s far-higher peaks.

Dane Carbaugh

1. Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks

2. Dario Saric, 76ers

3. Joel Embiid, 76ers

I was just like you at the beginning of this season, dear reader. I wanted to give Rookie of the Year to Joel Embiid even on a minutes restriction, and even if he started the season late. But, even if he was still the best player of this rookie class, I cannot in good conscience do that. So we turn to Milwaukee, a team with their own budding superstars who Malcolm Brogdon has had to work around. He gets the edge over Saric thanks to a playoff appearance, but mostly because I can’t trust the process much longer.