Sixers Joel Embiid, Dario Saric Among Finalists for Rookie of the Year | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Sixers Joel Embiid, Dario Saric Among Finalists for Rookie of the Year

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    Sixers Joel Embiid, Dario Saric Among Finalists for Rookie of the Year
    CSNPhilly.com
    Sixers Joel Embiid, Dario Saric among finalists for Rookie of the Year

    The Sixers have already turned their eyes to next season after getting the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft lottery earlier this week.

    However, a couple members of the team still have one battle left for the 2016-17 season: Rookie of the Year.

    Center Joel Embiid and forward Dario Saric were officially named finalists for the honor on Friday night. The other man in the running for ROY is Milwaukee guard Malcolm Brogdon. The winner will be announced during the NBA's award show on June 26. 

    After foot surgeries sidelined Embiid for two seasons, the big man burst out of the gates in his rookie campaign. He led the Sixers in scoring (20.2), rebounds (7.8) and blocks (2.5) per game.

    Embiid was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for October/November, December and January before his season was cut short after 31 games because of a torn meniscus.

    Being limited to just 31 appearances could hurt Embiid's chances. Every previous Rookie of the Year winner has appeared in at least 50 games. The last two men to hoist the trophy - Minnesota Timberwolves teammates Anthony Wiggins in 2015 and Karl-Anthony Towns in 2016 - played in all 82 games during their first season.

    That bodes well for Saric, who played in 81 games this season.

    Unlike Embiid, Saric came on strong during the second half of the season, mainly after fellow forward Ersan Ilyasova was dealt at the trade deadline.

    In 25 games after the break, Saric averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists as he was named the East's Rookie of the Month for February and March. For the season, the Croatian put up 12.8 points, 6.3 boards and 2.2 assists a night.

    The two Sixers rookies are certainly both competitive and would love to take home the hardware, although even Embiid, who stated several times why he should win, conceded to Saric toward the end of the regular season (see video).

    Brogdon, the 36th pick in 2016, acquitted himself nicely during his first season. He recorded 10.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds as he played a key role for a Bucks team that made a run to the playoffs.