Lonzo Ball has the attention of opposing general managers around the NBA in a big way. NBA.com’s John Schumann is back with the results of his annual NBA GM survey, and the Los Angeles Lakers’ prized rookie ran away with the Rookie of the Year vote.
62 percent of general managers selected Ball as the future Rookie of the Year. Philadelphia 76ers “red shirt” rookie Ben Simmons took second, but with only 24 percent of the vote. Dennis Smith Jr. ranked third with seven percent to round out the top-three. De’Aaron Fox and Jayson Tatum also received votes.
Absent from that last? No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, which seems like a pretty strange player to not receive votes. Perhaps that falls on the confidence executives seem to have in Simmons — who tied for second in Rookie of the Year votes last survey around — as the key for Philadelphia.
Elsewhere, Kyle Kuzma received another nod. Kuz took second in the “biggest steal” category, grabbing 22 percent of the vote. Smith Jr. took first with 37 percent. Considering the way Kuzma’s played through summer league and the first two games of preseason, he may find himself in that Rookie of the Year conversation once the regular season gets rolling.
What does it mean? Not a whole lot, but it’s probably a good sign that the Lakers’ first-round picks from the NBA Draft received a pretty big sign-off from general managers around the league.