The Rockets' Eric Gordon - the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year - was again named a finalist for the award. The other two finalists are Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James and New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, both of whom had incredible seasons.
The standout award is, of course, the MVP honor and the trio of James, Harden and Davis has separated themselves from the rest of the pack with their performances in the regular season. Davis averaged 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.5 steals a game.
Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists this season.
Harden was the betting favorite to win the MVP in the final weeks of the season and has been a finalist for MVP in two out of the last three seasons.
Embiid finished third in the National Basketball Association in rebounds per game, fifth in blocks per game and ninth in defensive real plus minus.
Simmons and Mitchell's respective teammates Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert are also nominated for Defensive Player of the Year along with Davis.
The NBA released the list of nominees for its year-end awards, which will be given out on Monday, June 25 in the second annual televised awards show on TNT.
All season we've heard about the NBA Rookie of the Year being a two-man race between Simmons and Utah Jazz sparkplug Donovan Mitchell, and while Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has also been named a finalist for the award, a two-man race it effectively remains.
Coach of the Year finalists include Boston's Brad Stevens, Quin Snyder of Utah and Dwane Casey, the Toronto coach who was sacked by the Raptors after they were swept 4-0 by the Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs.