In the annual NBA GM surveys compiled by John Schuhmann of NBA.com, Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball was overwhelmingly voted to win the Rookie of the Year award this season, as he received 62 percent of the votes from general managers throughout the league.
Ball was followed by Philadelphia 76ers’ 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons, who received 24 percent of the vote and Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. who received seven percent. De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings and Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics also received votes for the award.
In addition to Rookie of the Year, GMs also voted Ball as one of the rookies to be the best player in five years, as he ranked fourth in that category at 14 percent.
Ball was the second overall pick by the Lakers out of UCLA and he has already demonstrated what he was capable of, winning the MVP award of the Las Vegas Summer League and leading the Lakers to their first-ever summer league championship, completely changing the style that the team played with.
He has struggled a bit in his first two preseason games, averaging just 6.5 points, five rebounds and six assists while shooting 33.3 percent from the field. He suffered a mild left ankle sprain in Monday’s game against the Denver Nuggets limiting his minutes, although the injury is not believed to be serious.
Although the stats might not be great so far, Ball’s impact on the team is easy to see as he is constantly pushing the pace and finding his teammates open shots, so winning Rookie of the Year is definitely a possibility as there has not been a rookie that has that kind of impact on his teammates at such a young age in a long time.