On Monday night (June 25) the stars of the Basketball world were part of the latest NBA awards show. One of the biggest debates heading into the event was over which rookie was deserving of the NBA Rookie of the Year award for the past season. While arguments were made in favor of Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell, it was ultimately the Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons who was given the ROY honor for 2018.

Simmons takes ROY prize

This past season was an exciting one for Philadelphia 76ers fans, as they watched their team begin their ascension into Eastern Conference contenders.

While they had high hopes for their No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, it was the top pick from a year prior who helped them. Ben Simmons ran the floor and showed how he will probably become a major star within the league for years to come. ESPN was among the first sites to report that Simmons had won the award, besting Utah's Donovan Mitchell. The website noted that Ben Simmons had sat out the 2016-17 NBA Season due to injury, which made this past season his rookie campaign.

For his rookie season, he averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game while helping lead his team to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. In the postseason, the Sixers were able to get past the Miami Heat in the first round, but then ran into trouble against a Boston Celtics team which had more experience.

However, the future seems bright in Philly behind Simmons and his All-Star center Joel Embiid.

Mitchell and Tatum were contenders

While Ben Simmons won the Rookie of the Year prize for 2018, two other rookies shouldn't hang their heads. Utah's Mitchell and Boston's Jayson Tatum each had impressive rookie campaigns. Mitchell had a higher scoring average than Simmons with 20.5 points per game to lead the Jazz to the playoffs.

Mitchell also shot 50.2 percent from the field and averaged 3.7 boards, 3.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.

There had been contention from Donovan Mitchell, some fans, and analysts, that he was the one who should win the award, as he was truly in his rookie season. However, the rules for the awards still gave Simmons the nod.

It's likely that both of these players will be mentioned in All-Star talk in future years in the league, as will Boston's Jayson Tatum.

As far as Tatum goes, he wasn't as close in terms of winning ROY as Mitchell might have been, but he was also a standout among the 2017-18 NBA rookie class. Tatum was part of the No. 2 seed Boston Celtics and helped get them to the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics rookie averaged 13.9 points, five rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. He also picked up the slack when the Celtics went into the playoffs without Kyrie Irving, who was sidelined for the postseason due to surgery recovery.

All in all, the latest group of NBA rookies that came into the league last season provided plenty of excitement.

Other rookies not mentioned as contenders but who were impressive were Chicago Bulls big man Lauri Markannen, the Atlanta Hawks' John Collins, Dallas' Dennis Smith Jr., and the two young Lakers stars. Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma have fans in L.A. excited over what's to come for their franchise in the future.

The 2018-19 NBA rookie class promises to be bright as well, with basketball fans already debating which of the young stars will win the next Rookie of the Year award. Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Luka Doncic will be just a few of the rookies that could capture that honor for 2019.