Ben Simmons wins NBA Rookie of the Year award over Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum

The NBA named Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons the league’s Rookie of the Year on Monday at the NBA Awards in Santa Monica, California. Simmons beat out Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum for the honor.

Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals while guiding the 76ers alongside Joel Embiid to the Eastern Conference’s three seed and their first playoff appearance since 2012 following years of futility. Simmons was drafted in 2016 out of LSU, but did not play the 2016-17 season while recovering from a broken foot.

Simmons wins Rookie of the Year with transcendent season

Simmons struggled with his jump shot and attempted only 11 3-point field goals during the season, missing them all, but still managed to shoot 54.5 percent from the field as a constant threat to attack the basket. The athletic, 6-10 guard is considered one of the league’s top young players redefining his position and the way basketball is played in the modern NBA.

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BOSTON, MA - MAY 9: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers takes a shot over Marcus Morris #13 of the Boston Celtics during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 9, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 9: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers talks to the media after the game against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 9, 2018 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 9: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball against the Boston Celtics during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 9, 2018 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 7: T.J. McConnell #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers talks to Ben Simmons #25 and Joel Embiid #21 in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 7, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Celtics 103-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 07: Philadelphia 76ers Guard Ben Simmons (25) looks on during warmups before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 07, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 7: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers warms up before Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics during the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 7, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - May 5: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots the ball against the Boston Celtics during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 5, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - May 3: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers talks with the media following Game Two of Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics on May 3, 2018 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 3: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 3, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 30: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers defends Shane Larkin #8 of the Boston Celtics during the second half of Game One in Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the 76ers 117-101. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 28: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball against the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2018 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Simmons beat out Mitchell, who led the Jazz in scoring with 20.5 points per game along with averaging 3.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals. The 13th pick in the draft out of Louisville was a revelation, helping lead the Jazz to the Western Conference’s five seed, which was unexpected after the team lost star forward Gordon Hayward to the Celtics in free agency.

Mitchell was not an efficient scorer, shooting 43.7 percent from the field in the regular season, but his impact on the court was emphasized even more in the playoffs when he led the Jazz to a first-round upset of the Oklahoma City Thunderwhile improving his scoring average to 24.4 points per game in the postseason.

Mitchell carries Rookie of the Year beef to NBA Awards

Simmons and Mitchell engaged in a social media beef toward the end of the season with Mitchell arguing that Simmons wasn’t really eligible for the award since he was drafted as a rookie in 2016. Simmons responded by dismissing Mitchell as a legitimate candidate for the award.

Mitchell kept up the trope Monday, arriving to the awards ceremony in Los Angeles in a van emblazoned with “Rookie?”

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NBA playoffs: The best photos from Round 2
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 01: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point basket against the New Orleans Pelicans during Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 1, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 01: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots the ball as Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Toronto Raptors defends in the second half of Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 1, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 30: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics takes a shot against Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers during Game One in Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the 76ers 117-101. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 30: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics celebrates after hitting a three point shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter of Game One of Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- MAY 3 - Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) dunks as the Toronto Raptors play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA playoffs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. May 3, 2018. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 3: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics goes to the basket against the Philadelphia 76ers during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2018 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 06: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz goes to the basket under the defense of James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets in the second half during Game Four of Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 6, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rockets beat the Jazz 100-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 05: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers hits the game winning shot over the outstretched hand of OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors to win Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals 105-103 during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 5, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 7: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers gets into an altercation with Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics as Jayson Tatum #0 and Marcus Morris #13 of the Boston Celtics and Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers try to break them up in the second quarter during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 7, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 05: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates his game winning shot with Kevin Love #0 next to Serge Ibaka #9 of the Toronto Raptors during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 5, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
May 7, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drive for a loose ball during the second quarter in game four of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
May 5, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) stands on the scorer's table after hitting the final shot to win the game against the Toronto Raptors in game three of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 08: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans goes up for a dunk on Quinn Cook #4, Kevon Looney #5, and Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 8, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 9: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics takes a shot over T.J. McConnell #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 9, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the 76ers 114-112 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
May 9, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) reacts after scoring against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half in game five of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
May 8, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) passes the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward David West (3) and guard Shaun Livingston (34) during the first quarter in game five of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Tatum, the No. 3 pick out of Duke, was also a finalist after averaging 13.9 points, five rebounds, 1.6 assists and a steal while shooting 43.4 percent from 3-point range. He emerged as a leader on a Celtics team that finished with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and was one win away from the NBA Finals despite losing veteran stars Hayward and Kyrie Irving to season-ending injuries.

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