James Harden
James Harden is the frontrunner for the MVP award. In this picture, Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts to a play during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, May 22, 2018. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Who were the best players during the 2017/18 regular season? Those questions will be answered, at least through the 2018 NBA Awards that takes place Monday night at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.

The NBA Awards will be voted for by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, with fans also getting to vote for certain awards.

The biggest debates this year though, center around the MVP and Rookie of the Year awards.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden seems to be the frontrunner for the MVP award as his 30.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game helped his side not only finish above the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference, but cement themselves as the best team in the regular season with an impressive 65-17 record.

While Harden could win the award for the first time in his career, he will face competition from Cleveland Cavaliers star and four-time MVP LeBron James, who has staked a claim for the award after enjoying one of his best individual seasons.

Despite being 33 years old, James is continuing to play at the highest level and seemingly breaking records with every game as he finished the regular season playing every game for the first time in his career as well as averaging 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists.

What makes his numbers especially impressive are the circumstances that both he and the Cavaliers had to deal with during the regular season — to name a few, the trade of Kyrie Irving, injuries resulting in various starting lineups, a general manager change and the absence of head coach Tyronn Lue due to illness.

New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis is the other finalist for the MVP award.

Ben Simmons
Does Ben Simmons have the edge for Rookie of the Year? In this picture, Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers flexes while the fans react to a dunk by Joel Embiid in the second quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoff at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 5, 2018. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the battle for the Rookie of the Year award is between Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons and the Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell.

The pair both enjoyed standout seasons and even formed a competitive rivalry with each other, rising out of the debate as to whether Simmons is a true rookie — he was drafted in 2016/17 but missed the entire season due to injury.

Simmons (15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists) helped the Sixers finish as the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference while Mitchell (20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists) helped the Jazz to No. 5 in the Western Conference.

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum is the other finalist for the Rookie of the Year award and notably did better than both Simmons and Mitchell in the postseason as he thrived in the absence of Kyrie Irving to take the Cavaliers the distance in the Eastern Conference Finals, albeit in a losing effort. However, only the regular season is counted for these awards.

Where to watch:

The NBA Awards begin June 25 at 9 p.m. EDT and will be aired live on TNT in the United States. They can also be live streamed on TNTdrama.com and the TNT app.

Full list of finalists:

MVP: James Harden (Houston Rockets), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)

Rookie of the Year: Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Joel Embiid (76ers), Rudy Gobert (Jazz)

Coach of the Year: Dwane Casey (Toronto Raptors), Quin Snyder (Jazz), Brad Stevens (Celtics)

Most Improved Player: Clint Capela (Rockets), Spencer Dinwiddie (Brooklyn Nets), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers)

Sixth Man of the Year: Eric Gordon (Rockets), Lou Williams (LA Clippers), Fred VanVleet (Raptors)