Ben Simmons explains why he thinks Luka Doncic should win Rookie of the Year

Ben Simmons thinks Mavericks guard Luka Doncic should win Rookie of the Year over the Hawks’ Trae Young.

The second-year star and 2018 Rookie of the Year winner responded “Luka” when asked Sunday who he would vote for in this year’s race.

“He’s playing better. Like, his team’s winning more games,” Simmons told reporters Monday ahead of Philadelphia’s matchup with Dallas. “Trae Young is killing it. Same as Donovan (Mitchell last year). But it’s just overall I think Luka’s got his team playing a little better.”

Doncic is favored to win this year’s Rookie of the Year award. The 19-year-old Slovenian could become the second consecutive international player to take home the honor. He is averaging 21.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 2018-19. He leads all first-year players in minutes played and points scored.

Young had a bit of a rocky start this season, but has put up eye-popping numbers as of late. He is averaging 25.1 points and 9.3 assists per game since the All-Star break.

Simmons was drafted with the top pick in the 2016 draft. But he didn’t play until 2017-18 because of a foot injury that kept him out for all of what should have been his rookie season.

That being said, the 22-year-old Australian exploded onto the scene last season. He averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists during his rookie campaign and beat out notable names like the Jazz’s Mitchell and Celtics swingman Jayson Tatum.

Doncic and Young were exchanged in a trade on draft day last year and both are already proving to be valuable pieces to their respective teams.