Ben Simmons named a finalist for Rookie of the Year
Ben Simmons or Donovan Mitchell?
The world will finally find out the conclusion of the battle for Rookie of the Year supremacy on June 25.
The NBA announced on Wednesday night that the finalists for the league's best rookie for 2017-18 will be Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
Simmons had a stellar rookie season for the Sixers, not only leading them to a No. 3 seed in the East, but also with the way he played all year long individually. He averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and 1.7 steals in 33.7 minutes per game this year.
Mitchell was considered to be the steal of the draft by many, picked 13th in the first round by the Jazz. He averaged 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, shot 43.7 percent from the field, 34 percent from beyond the arc in 33.4 minutes per game this season.
As for Tatum, he had to do a lot for the Celtics in a role that wasn't supposed to be his. However, a season-ending injury to Gordon Hayward in the first game of the year pushed Tatum into the starting role that a lot of people didn't think he was capable of right out of the gate. He flourished for the Celtics, averaging 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, shot 47.5 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from three in 30.5 minutes per game.
The argument against Simmons is that he's a second year player with more league experience than Mitchell, but by the actual definition of the word 'rookie,' Simmons is recognized for the award.
It's hard to tell who the quote-on-quote favorite for the award is, but based on stats alone all-around it's clear that Simmons had the best overall season out of the two finalists.
Time will tell who the voters believe the best rookie of the season is in the NBA.
Josh Liddick is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and Sixers managing editor at SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshLiddickTalk.