Injured Australian rookie Ben Simmons is being touted to emerge at the top the pile of 2016-17 draftees by some of the NBA's most powerful figures.
In the annual poll of the NBA's general managers, the former Newcastle Hunters junior received 70 per cent of votes to be the best of the current rookie crop in five years – well ahead of Minnesota's Kris Dunn in second. That's despite No.1 draft pick Simmons being set to miss around three months of action after fracturing his foot in the 76ers' pre-season.
No.5 pick Dunn has been tipped to win this season's rookie of the year award, with Simmons (13.3 per cent of votes) rated the equal-next best chance with Buddy Hield from New Orleans.
Head 76ers coach Brett Brown said this week Simmons was in a walking boot after under-going surgery this month and would be "going overboard" in his rehabilitation, with improving his jump shot to be a focus during his recovery.
Simmons said on Instagram on Monday he was looking forward to coming back "stronger and better".
Australian Milwaukee rookie Thon Maker also attracted votes as the biggest steal of the draft and new Dallas centre Andrew Bogut was voted the third most underrated off-season acquisition.
Golden State and Cleveland were tipped by the general managers as the teams likely to fight out this year's championship for the third-straight year, with the Warriors to reclaim the title.