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How Ben Simmons' injury affects the Rookie of the Year race

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With Ben Simmons' foot injury ruling him out of the start of the season, the door has been left ajar for another first-year star to solidify their spot as the favourite for the Rookie of the Year award.

The Australian could be set to miss three months of the new campaign after breaking a bone and the betting favourite for the prestigious award could be usurped if one of his classmates is on hand to capitalise on the absence of the forward.

Here is what Simmons' injury means to the other rookies.

Buddy Hield

In the race for Rookie of the Year, starting games and scoring points in bulk will always gain you votes.

The New Orleans Pelicans have been crying out for a player who can lock in from three-point range ever since Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson left in free agency.

2016 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Hield can expect to enjoy big minutes this season while marshalling the two spot in Louisiana.

Brandon Ingram

It seems Luke Walton will opt for Luol Deng in the starting five with Brandon Ingram playing a role off the bench. The extent of his contribution to the offence will depend on how quickly his potential turns into productivity in the City of Angels.

He is looked upon as the future of the franchise and is capable of scoring in bulk. Even coming off the bench, the teen will provide valuable minutes if he can take his shooting from college into the professional game.

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

D'Angelo Russell had a turbulent rookie season, but under a rookie head coach at the Staples Center, Ingram can expect his adaption to the professional game to run far smoother.

Kris Dunn

The point guard is another player who will have to be patient in the wait for a starting spot. For all the youth and potential the Minnesota Timberwolves have in Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins and Kris Dunn, Ricky Rubio is one of their most important players.

As a veteran he plays a vital role in bringing all of their pieces together on the floor to form a cohesive unit and Dunn will likely be used as a spark plug off the bench.

2016 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Sixers stars

The Sixers have two fellow rookies who could benefit somewhat from the absence of Simmons. The excitement surrounding Joel Embiid has not subsided despite his two-year injury absence and his preseason debut did nothing to quell the expectancy of the 7'0 center.

Dario Saric is another player who could see his time on the court increase, however, it is yet to be seen whether he has the ability to compete for the award. Two years of playing in Europe stand him in better stead than a player who has been in recovery for the same amount of time.

Philadelphia 76ers Media Day

Of course, there is always the possibility that Simmons could return to win the award if nobody steps up in his absence. It is not unheard of for a player to miss three months and scoop the trophy, but it would be a big ask.

Topics:
NBA
New Orleans Pelicans
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Philadelphia Sixers
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Minnesota Timberwolves
Northwest Division
LA Lakers
Pacific Division

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