Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz are playing great basketball. That can also be said of Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers. While each team has been down for several years, this season has brought a revival to both cities, and these two rookies are leading the way. They are also starting up a nice war of words just in time for the NBA playoffs.

Rookie of the Year trash talk

You know when the playoffs are getting close. The trash talking gets a bit louder, and the games get much more intense. The odds of seeing the Utah Jazz play the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals may be slim, however, if they do square off for the 2018 title, this bit of trash talk going on right now will be front and center.

According to SLAM, Donovan Mitchell pulled no punches last night as he took a swipe at fellow Rookie of the Year candidate Ben Simmons Tuesday evening. Mitchell’s Tweet set off a firestorm as NBA fans fired back, defending both Simmons and Mitchell.

Mitchell reportedly was mocking Simmons' wardrobe choice Tuesday night, implying that Simmons wasn’t a true “rookie” after sitting out his first year in the NBA due to an injury. Simmons brushed off Mitchell, taking the whole "he said/he said" moment in stride by replying that if Mitchell's only argument revolves around the definition of what a rookie is, then he has no argument at all.

Both of these guys are having tremendous seasons and it can be said that without them their teams would not be in the position they are in now. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see which player is named the ROY for the 2017-18 season.

By the numbers, Vegas odds

Ben Simmons is averaging 15.9 points per game and eight assists for the 76ers.

Donovan Mitchell, on the other hand, is averaging 20.5 PPG, and 3.7 assists per contest. Simmons is third on the Sixers' roster in scoring, while Mitchell is Utah’s leading scorer. Will the numbers be the deciding factor in determining who wins the 2018 ROY award?

According to an ESPN report, Simmons is predicted to become this season's ROY, and he is the odds-on favorite to capture the award.

Listed at -400, Simmons is the heavy favorite to claim the title. The NBA experts at ESPN have Simmons listed as the runaway winner at 93.1 percent, with Mitchell taking just 6.9 percent. One thing we know for sure, right now both players are more interested in how to help their team make it to the NBA Finals and not who claims an individual achievement. Last season Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks won the ROY award.

Below is a look at the current odds to win the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year.

  • Ben Simmons -400
  • Donovan Mitchell +250
  • Kyle Kuzma +1200
  • Jayson Tatum +1200
  • Dennis Smith +3500
  • Lonzo Ball +4000
  • FIELD +4500