There’s a fair-to-good chance that he won’t actually take the court at all this year thanks to a nasty foot injury, but Aussie baller/Philadelphia rookie Ben Simmons‘ future looms as the brightest of all the current crop of young NBA guns.

The annual NBA GM Survey released its results, with all 30 franchise General Managers polled on a range of questions pertaining to the season ahead.

Among other questions levelled to the people who study the players perhaps closer than any other, “Which rookie will be the best player in five years?” is the one that asks them to be the most prophetic.

Whereas in the past couple of years that’s revealed players like Karl Anthony-Towns, Victor Oladipo, or Jabari Parker, this year, by a landslide, the popular choice was Simmons.

The 20-year-old hoop wunderkind attracted a whopping 70% of the GM vote, beating out Minnesota’s Kris Dunn, LA Laker Brandon Ingram, and Simmons’ fellow-76er Joel Embiid.

Simmons is not, however, the GM’s pick for this year’s Rookie of the Year. That nasty metacarpal fracture is putting severe doubts on whether Simmons will even see a single minute this year, meaning his tilt at the ROTY gong may have to wait till next year. But that hasn’t stopped 13.3% of the NBA GMs backing Simmons in for the title this season. Kris Dunn, however, is your runaway favourite for the award, with 46.7% of the GM vote.

The “which rookie will be the best player in five years?” question is a staple of the GM survey, and if you go back five years+, the GMs aim is remarkably on point. 5 years ago they selected Kyrie Irving as the pick of the rookie bunch. Prior to that? Blake Griffin. It’s as good a rub for a fresh-faced player as there is in the game.

Elsewhere in this year’s survey, the GMs have pegged Golden State as the winners of this year’s NBA Championship with the perfect poll result (69% lol), LeBron James as the league MVP, Devin Booker of the Suns to have the breakout season of the year, Minnesota to be the most improved team of 2016-17, and Karl-Anthony Towns as the player you’d most want to build a franchise around.

Now whether Simmons can actually live up to the insane amount of hype around him once he does eventually step onto a court is another question entirely.

But hey, kid’s got the tools, and the talent. There ain’t a dang reason why he can’t make a massive impact on the biggest stage of ’em all.


Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty.