After a season filled with debate, 76ers point guard Ben Simmons was named the Rookie of the Year Monday at the NBA Awards.
Simmons beat out Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Celtics wing Jayson Tatum to capture the honor, which went to Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon last season.
The No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, Simmons had to sit out all of what was supposed to be his rookie season because of a foot injury. In his first season playing in the league, the Melbourne, Australia product played in 81 games and averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting 54.5% from the field. Simmons helped guide Philadelphia to the third-best record in the East and fifth-best record in the entire NBA at 52-30, which earned the 76ers their first playoff berth since 2012. In 10 postseason games he averaged 16.3 points, 9.4 boards, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals.
Mitchell, the No. 13 pick in the 2017 draft, was also stellar all season, posting a rookie-high 20.5 points per game for the 48-34 Jazz. Tatum put up 13.9 points and five rebounds in addition to shooting 43.4% from three for the 55-27 Celtics.
All three players were named to the All-Rookie first team along with Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers and Lauri Markkanen of the Bulls.