Ben Simmons a future MVP? Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal expect rookie to contend for award in five years
Magic and Shaq both also consider the Greek Freak an MVP candidate in 2023 as well
76ers point guard Ben Simmons is having a phenomenal rookie season. He stands as one of the favorites to win Rookie of The Year and has helped lead his team to a playoff berth. His ability to impact the game in multiple ways while not being a 3-point shooter is honestly incredible. What makes it even more impressive is his room to grow.
That potential has Magic Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal predicting a very bright future for Simmons.
In an interview that took place after the Crunch Celebrity Classic Sweepstakes, sponsored by Cheez-It and Pringles, CBS Sports'-- the two coaches in the celebrity game taking place in San Antonio during Final Four weekend -- who they think could win the MVP award in 2023. Both legends were sure not to exclude Simmons:
"Ben Simmons, [Giannis] Antetokounmpo, and KD [Kevin Durant], because KD will be older ... like a real fine wine," O'Neal said.
"Giannis, Simmons and then I'll probably put Anthony Davis. I think that if he can stay healthy he'll be in there as well," Johnson said.
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo also showed up on both of their ballots, but he's not as big of a surprise to see on their list as Simmons. Everybody expects Antetokounmpo to quickly take over the NBA and what he's done this season has been a great example of what he'll be doing for his entire career.
Simmons, on the other hand, has taken the NBA by storm so quickly. Even instant-impact rookies need time to develop and get noticed, but Simmons is already showing up on future MVP ballots this early in his career. Imagine how many people will be talking about him when he's gotten some more experience and time in the spotlight in Philadelphia.
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