Matisse Thybulle voted best defender in NBA’s rookie survey

Philadelphia 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle is coming into the NBA known for his defense, so it’s fitting that his peers recognized him in the league’s rookie survey.

The NBA released its survey Monday, with categories including which rookie would win Rookie of the Year, along with who is the most athletic. Thybulle received the most votes for best defender in this year’s draft class, taking 37% of the votes. Atlanta Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter earned the second-highest percentage of votes, receiving 29% of them.

A swingman out of Washington, Thybulle was one of the best defenders in college basketball last season. He led the NCAA in steals per game (3.5). Thybulle also ranks 16th on the NCAA’s all-time steals list, and he’s the Pac-12’s all-time leader in steals, too.

Aside from his defense, though, Thybulle is a capable shooter. During his four years with the Huskies, Thybulle shot 35.8% from the three-point line.

With Thybulle preparing for his first season, he projects as a potential 3-and-D player for Philly. The Sixers need better perimeter defense compared to last season, and they also could use better shooting off the bench. Thybulle could potentially be a key player off the bench as the Sixers prepare for a season with title aspirations.

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