Updated: 10 p.m.
Joel Embiid and Dario Saric had standout rookie years, but in the end, Malcolm Brogdon was named the 2016-17 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year.
“This is a testament to guys that are underestimated,” Brogdon, the 36th pick in the 2016 draft, said while accepting the award. “Guys that are second-round picks, guys that are undrafted every year that get looked over regardless of the work they put in, regardless of what they do.”
The full voting results can be viewed here. Brogdon secured 64 first-place votes, 30 second-place votes and four third-place for a total of 414 points. Saric received the most second-place votes with 39 but had just 13 first-place votes and 24 third-place votes (266 points). Embiid actually finished with the second-most first-place votes with 23, but only 9 second-place votes and 35 third-place votes (177 points).
The voting could have gone in various directions without a clear checklist of criteria.
The trio played different positions, voiding out an equal statistical comparison. Would the three-point shooting of a guard outweigh the rebounding of a big man?
Embiid was the clear favorite until he was sidelined. Would 31 games of dominance be enough?
Even though this is an individual award, the Bucks (42-40) had a better team record than the Sixers (28-54). Would the fact Brogdon was a contributor on a playoff team overshadow the games in which Embiid and Saric put the Sixers on their backs?
Different variables were in play, creating a case for and against each player (see story).
This is how the rookies' stats stacked up:
• Games played: 31 (31 starts)
• Minutes: 25.4
• Points: 20.2
• Shooting: 46.6 percent FG, 36.7 percent 3PG, 78.3 percent FT
• Rebounds: 7.8
• Assists: 2.1
• Blocks: 2.45
• Double-doubles: 9
• Games played: 81 (36 starts)
• Minutes: 26.3
• Points: 12.8
• Shooting: 41.1 percent FG, 31.1 percent 3PG, 78.2 percent FT
• Rebounds: 6.3
• Assists: 2.2
• Double-doubles: 10
• Games played: 75 (28 starts)
• Minutes: 26.4
• Points: 10.2
• Shooting: 45.7 percent FG, 40.4 percent 3PG, 86.5 percent FT
• Rebounds: 2.8
• Assists: 4.2
• Steals: 1.1
• Double-doubles: 2
• Triple-doubles: 1
Brogdon and Saric were unanimously voted to the All-Rookie first team on Monday. Embiid was also on the first team, receiving seven second-team votes (see story).
The Sixers could claim this award next season with 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz or 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons.