Sixers' Ben Simmons overtakes Lonzo Ball as NBA Rookie of the Year favorite

Since he missed all of last season due to a foot injury, it's easy to forget that Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons is actually still a rookie. Vegas surely hasn't forgotten, as the 2016 No. 1 overall draft pick has now vaulted past Lakers guard Lonzo Ball to become the NBA Rookie of the Year favorite.

According to Bovada, Simmons' odds to win the award have gone from 7/2 to 3/2 since July. Meanwhile Ball's odds have raised from 5/2 to 7/2 in the same time frame. In third place is Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr., who went from 3/1 to 5/1. Another Lakers rookie, Kyle Kuzma, wasn't even on the board in July, but a strong summer league and preseason performance has pushed him to 20/1.

Here is the complete list of odds.

PlayerJuly 18Oct. 10

Ben Simmons

7/2

3/2

Lonzo Ball

5/2

7/2

Dennis Smith Jr.

3/1

5/1

Markelle Fultz

9/1

9/1

Jayson Tatum

5/1

9/1

De'Aaron Fox

9/1

16/1

Josh Jackson

16/1

16/1

Kyle Kuzma

Off the board

20/1

Donovan Mitchell

Off the board

20/1

Bogdan Bogdanovic

Off the board

33/1

John Collins

33/1

33/1

Malik Monk

16/1

33/1

MIlos Teodosic

Off the board

33/1

Jonathan Isaac

33/1

50/1

Justin Jackson

33/1

50/1

Lauri Markkanen

33/1

50/1

Bam Adebayo

Off the board

66/1

Ball plays and up-tempo style with a Lakers team that played little-to-no defense last season, so he'll likely put up some gaudy stats in mostly high-scoring affairs. After an MVP performance in the Las Vegas Summer League, Ball's Rookie of the Year stock was at an all-time high.

But Simmons didn't play in the summer league. Over a year after he suffered a broken foot, causing him to miss the entirety of what would have been his rookie season, he has finally gotten on the court during the Sixers' preseason games, and he's looked good. At 6-foot-10, Simmons was billed as a point-forward (or even a straight-up point guard) coming out of college, and that skill set has been on full display during the preseason. He's averaging 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in three games, while bringing the ball up the court most of the time that he's been on the floor.

Simmons' immediate impact, coupled with Ball's relative struggles in two preseason games before being sidelined by an ankle injury, has now made him the rookie to beat for the upcoming season. If the Sixers are healthy -- a big if -- Simmons will have Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz and J.J. Redick as running mates. That could lead to a lot of assists for Simmons, who has also showcased an ability to score in transition.

There's still a long way to go, but Simmons is just another reason to think that this could be the year that the 76ers finally start heading in the right direction.

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