Sixers' Embiid and Saric are finalists for NBA rookie of year

As expected, 76ers teammates Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, along with Milwaukee Bucks point guard Malcolm Brogdon, were announced as finalists for the NBA rookie of the year award during Friday's NBA Tip-Off show on TNT.

The hosts also announced the finalists for most valuable player, defensive player of the year, sixth man of the year, most improved player, and coach of the year. The nominees were voted on by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from around the world.

The winners are to be revealed at the first-ever NBA awards show to be hosted by recording artist Drake on June 26 at New York's Basketball City.

If not for suffering a season-ending tear of the meniscus in his left knee, Embiid would likely have been the runaway winner of rookie-of-the-year honors. He played in only 31 games because of rest or injuries.

With Embiid, who did not play enough games to qualify for statistical rankings, sidelined for more than half the season, Saric made his own strong case for the rookie award. The power forward was named the conference's rookie of the month in February and March.

Here's a look at the other finalists:

MVP: Houston Rockets point guard James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, and San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard.

Most improved: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Milwaukee Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.

Sixth man of the year: Rockets guards Eric Gordon and Lou Williams and Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala.

Defensive player of the year: Leonard, Gobert, and Golden State power forward Draymond Green.

Coach of the year: Miami's Erik Spoelstra, Houston's Mike D'Antoni, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich.

Austin works out

Former Imhotep Charter standout Brandon Austin has been at the 76ers' practice facility working on his game with members of the team.

The 6-foot-7 point guard, who had a predraft workout with the Sixers last summer, is still trying to clean up his image.

Austin has denied two separate sexual-assault accusations, and he was not charged with a crime in either case.

But the standout has dealt with the public perception that goes with being dismissed from Providence College and Oregon amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Providence incident occurred in the fall of 2013 during his freshman year. During the summer of 2014, a second incident happened at Oregon.

"Everything was consensual. I didn't do anything wrong," Austin told Philly.com on June 2, 2016, after his predraft workout with Sixers.

"The intention wasn't wrong," he said. "I just made a mistake. A lot of people make mistakes. I just grew from it, and I continue to [grow] today."

Back then, Austin made a solid impression on the Sixers. He was by far the best shooter in the portion of the workout that was open to the media. Austin made threes and mid-range jumpers and maneuvered past defenders en route to layups.

However, he was not selected in the 2016 draft.

For now, the Sixers say they're only making their gym available to him as they're doing for local NBA and NBA Development League players this summer.

kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.philly.com/sixersblog

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