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Young responds to Simmons' Kia Rookie of the Year pick

Days after Simmons touted Doncic for award season, Young led Hawks to victory

Just two days ago, reigning Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons quickly, and perhaps dismissively of any competition, stated Luka Doncic would be his pick for the 2018-19 award.

Two days and one game against Atlanta later, another rookie might have made a strong case to sway the vote.

Hawks guard Trae Young, whose steadily rising campaign has drawn notable support from several other league sources, popped off for 33 points, 7 rebounds and 12 assists in a 130-122 victory over Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

After the game, Young responded to a prompt, acknowledging he saw Simmons’ comment, and suggested that “maybe [Simmons] thinks differently now.”

Though the Hawks (29-50) are eliminated from the playoffs and the Sixers (49-29) are looking ahead to the postseason, Atlanta has recovered from a 7-23 start to essentially play close to .500 ball (22-27) the rest of the way. Potentially adding two top-10 picks to the existing young core could lift the Hawks into playoff contention quicker than anyone expected, meaning this is a budding rivalry with a chance to earn some competitive teeth.

Time, and award season, will tell. NBA Awards — including the Kia Rookie of the Year trophy — will officially be revealed on June 24 in a televised ceremony on TNT.