Survey says: NBA GMs predict Ben Simmons to finish 2nd in rookie of year; no votes for Markelle Fultz

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Ben Simmons passes the ball during an intrasquad scrimmage Sunday.

The 76ers’ Ben Simmons has finished second in voting in an NBA.com survey that asked the league’s general managers to predict who will be the rookie of the year this season.

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball finished first with 62 percent of the votes. Simmons, also a point guard, received 24 percent. Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. was third at 7 percent.

Sixers point guard Markelle Fultz did not receive a single vote.

“It really doesn’t bother me,” said Fultz, who wants to win rookie of the year. “I know what I’m capable of. I know what my goals are. I don’t really look into it.

“That’s what they think. That’s their opinion. At the end of the day, I’m going to work to do what my goals are, what my team goals are.”

However, the 2017 first overall pick tied for second with Boston forward Jason Tatum in the GM voting for which rookie will be the best player in five seasons. They each received 21 percent of the votes. Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson was the top vote-getter at 24 percent. Simmons was tied with Ball at 14 percent.

Sixers guard J.J. Redick ranked second, behind Golden State guard Klay Thompson, among the best players moving without the ball. Also, the Sixers were voted second, behind the Minnesota Timberwolves, for most improved team.

Saric could also miss Friday’s game vs. Celtics

Dario Saric made it clear that he’s sidelined to take a much-needed rest and not because of an injury.

“My health, everything is right,” the 76ers reserve power forward said Wednesday. “We just don’t want to risk [anything].”

So Saric sat out Wednesday’s preseason opener against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Wells Fargo Center. There’s a chance that the second-year player will also miss Friday’s home game against the Boston Celtics.

He’s eyes tell the story of someone who is noticeably fatigued from basketball  over  the last three months. That’s due to playing for his native Croatia in last month’s EuroBasket tournament.

Saric reported to training camp in his home country back on June 5 before competing in the tournament in August.

“I was not practicing here like you come in the offseason and shoot around in some scrimmage game,” Saric said. “I have been practicing with the national team, two practices a day. We decide to give me some break for maybe two days, maybe three, maybe four.”

So far, he’s missed Tuesday’s practice and Wednesday’s shootaround and game. Saric hasn’t shut things down completely, though. He’s doing side work, weight lifting and work in the whirl pool while the Sixers are at practice.