Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell have been unanimously chosen as members of the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team, the league announced Tuesday, as both obtained the maximum 100 votes from a panel of network members. They’re combined by Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics (99 First Team votes), Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers (93) and Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls (76). Simmons, Mitchell and Tatum will be the three finalists for the league’s Rookie of the Year award, which is announced at the second annual NBA awards show on June 25.
Making up the next group is the Dallas Mavericks’ Dennis Smith Jr., Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins, Sacramento Kings’ Bogdan Bogdanovic and Phoenix Suns’ Josh Jackson.
Simmons, who had been forced to sit out all of last season with a foot injury, helped lead the Sixers to 50 wins for the first time since 2000-01. He joined Oscar Robertson (1960-61) since the only rookies in NBA history to average at least 15 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.
Mitchell, who had been selected with the 13th overall pick, emerged as a star, maintaining the Jazz afloat after the offseason departure of franchise cornerstone Gordon Hayward. He became the first rookie to lead a 45-plus-win team in scoring since David Robinson (1989-90) and set the rookie record for three-pointers created (187).