In the NBA, there are a lot of major awards that are given out at the end of each season. These awards include MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and many others. There is always a lot of debate about who will win these awards, and it is always interesting to see who comes out on top. In this blog post, we will take a look at who we think will win all of the major NBA awards next season!
Most Valuable Player
Last season’s winner: Nikola Jokic, Center, Denver Nuggets
This season there will be a ton of guys competing for the coveted MVP award. Nikola Jokic will most definitely be in the running, but three straight MVPs is almost an impossible feat.
Giannis Antetokounmpo already has two of them, so due to voter fatigue, he probably won’t win either unless he has a historic season. Antetokounmpo is known as one of the top 10 NBA draft steals of all time where the Milwaukee Bucks selected him at #13.
Devin Booker and Demar Derozen really showed out this past season and gathered a couple of MVP votes each, but with the Suns losing DeAndre Ayton, they may not have high enough seeding for a guy like D Book to win the award, and with the Bulls being in the deep Eastern conference, they may not be a high enough seed to have a player take home the award.
One guy to look out for this year is Joel Embiid. After being a close runner-up for the past two seasons, he can definitely make a run for it as long as the 76ers remain in playoff contention, which they will undoubtedly do.
Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and LeBron James can never be left out of the conversation when it comes to the MVP award, however, they all have past MVPs and the league is looking for a new guy to hoist the trophy.
Kawhi Leonard will be returning this season after missing all of last season with a partially torn ACL injury. Leonard will have Paul George and John Wall riding with him on the L.A. Clippers this season and they can make a real run for the top seed in the West this year. The top-seeded team’s players have a good advantage when it comes to the award.
Another guy to look for this year is young, superstar Luka Doncic. Luka has all the potential in the world to take home this year’s trophy with the Mavs adding key pieces to help Luka get there.
- Joel Embiid, Center, Philadelphia 76ers
- Kawhi Leonard, Small Forward, Los Angeles Clippers
- Luka Doncic, Shooting Guard, Dallas Mavericks
- Nikola Jokic, Center, Denver Nuggets
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Power Forward, Milwaukee Bucks
Winner: Luka Doncic
Rookie of the Year
Last season’s winner: Scottie Barnes, Power Forward, Toronto Raptors
This year’s rookie class is absolutely stacked, to say the least. Paulo Banchero went first overall to the Orlando Magic in a stunning turn of events. Banchero has the most NBA-ready body and set of tools out of all prospects going into this year.
Chet Holmgren, the seven-foot unicorn, was drafted second to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chet is a once-in-a-lifetime prospect, but his frame is just too thin, and in order for him to make a real impact in this league he needs to put on some weight. Nevertheless, he is still an explosive player and he may show everyone that they were wrong about him this season.
Jabari Smith, out of Auburn, was the consensus first-overall pick until about two hours before the draft, and he fell to number three to Houston. Houston will build around Smith, Jalen Green, and Kevin Porter Jr.
Keegan Murray was shockingly selected fourth by the Kings and he is playing with two stars on the roster in De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. It’s always tough for a rookie to win this award with stars on the roster.
Jaden Ivey fell to number five where the Pistons snatched him up without hesitation. The Pistons have a lethal backcourt with Ivey and Cade Cunningham, that may run the league someday.
The following picks were Benedict Mathurin, Shaedon Sharpe, Dyson Daniels, and Jeremy Sochan to the Pacers, Blazers, Pelicans, and Spurs respectively. Mathurin is a three-and-d player who has a high floor, but with the Pacers mostly focused on Tyrese Haliburton’s development, he may not be the player we saw at Arizona. Shaedon Sharpe is the rawest prospect, not playing a single game at the collegiate level and Jeremy Sochan is a defensive-minded forward with high potential.
A couple of guys out of the top 10 I’m excited for are Mark Williams out of Duke (Hornets) and Walker Kessler out of Auburn (Jazz). Both are 7-foot big men with sky-high potential in this league. Mark Williams joins a Hornets team that has been desperately looking for a starting center the last couple of seasons and he may fit really nicely in this role. Walker Kessler was drafted by the Grizzlies, then dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night, then flipped to the Utah Jazz to acquire big man Rudy Gobert.
- Paulo Banchero, Power Forward, Orlando Magic
- Chet Holmgren, Center, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Jabari Smith, Power Forward, Houston Rockets
- Jaden Ivey, Point Guard, Detroit Pistons
- Walker Kessler, Center, Utah Jazz
Winner: Paulo banchero
Most Improved Player
Last season’s winner: Ja Morant, Point Guard, Memphis Grizzlies
Last season’s most improved race was tough and may have changed the way the award is given for the future. Before this past season, the MIP award was given to the player with the highest jump in talent from the year before. Ja Morant made a massive improvement, reaching superstar status, but the problem was he was already a star player in the league. Jordan Poole was a G-League player two seasons ago, then last year he made the jump to one of the best role players in the league, averaging almost 20 points per game! So this year’s race will look different than previous races because of this.
Many players have a chance at this award this year, but my personal favorites are R.J. Barrett, Jalen Brunson, Tyrese Haliburton, Michael Porter Jr., Tyler Herro, Ben Simmons, and Josh Giddey. Before this season R.J. Barrett was coined the Knicks’ future star. The Knicks have been trying to build around him since he was drafted in 2019 at third overall. He has enormous potential to be great and we saw flashes of that this past season when he averaged 20 points per game.
The Mavericks unexpectedly made a deep playoff run this past season and a big reason for that was Jalen Brunson. The New York Knicks would not let him return to the Mavs and they scooped him up on the first day of free agency for a whopping 110 million dollar contract over four years. Some may say it’s an overpay for a guy who hasn’t shown that he’s worth this, but the Knicks see something good in him, and not being behind a mega superstar like Luka Doncic may do wonders for him this season.
Tyrese Haliburton is a young stud with star potential. The Pacers seemed to buy into his hype last season when they traded away Domantas Sabonis for him at the trade deadline. He’s a smart player that can shoot and play defense, two things every NBA team covets. This may be his breakout season.
The Nuggets have been patiently waiting for Michael Porter Jr. to break out and this may be the year he does it. He has all the tools to be a star in this league, he just hasn’t been able to put it together yet, plus all the injuries he faced have held him back. This year he will be healthy again and show all the teams that passed on him on draft night why he deserved to be a top-five pick.
Tyler Herro won the sixth man of the year award this past season. Averaging 20 points per game is surely enough to get him into the starting lineup this season and he will show everyone what he’s made of. Herro is an excellent shooter with great decision-making abilities on the court and he deserves the right to be in the starting lineup along with co-stars Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry.
Ben Simmons is a player that has been talked about so much for someone who didn’t play a single game this past season. He started the season on a 76ers team that he did not want to be part of after he was given all the blame for losing to the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs two seasons ago. And rightfully so, as he played horrendously and took little to no shots during crunch time in that series. However, he is still a great player with excellent defense, and if he can develop even the ability to hit a free throw, he may gain his confidence back and show everyone that he doesn’t suck.
Lastly, Josh Giddey. Giddey had an incredible season this past year averaging 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. Giddey was a rookie last season and is expected to make a jump this season and breakout.
- R.J. Barrett, Shooting guard, New York Knicks
- Jalen Brunson, Point Guard, New York Knicks
- Tyrese Haliburton, Point Guard, Indiana Pacers
- Josh Giddey, Power Forward, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Michael Porter Jr., Small Forward, Denver Nuggets
Winner: Jalen Brunson
Defensive Player of the year
Last season’s winner: Marcus Smart, Point Guard, Boston Celtics
The DPOY award runners should consist of about seven guys this season. Rudy Gobert, Giannis Antetounmpo, Draymond Green, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Bam Adebayo, and Mikal Bridges. Rudy Gobert has three defensive players of the year awards already and this next season, he will be competing for his fourth. Gobert is a seven-foot center that was recently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a massive haul of players and picks. The only problem with Gobert is that he is easily exploitable in small-ball lineups. Teams have used this against him in the past making him basically obsolete on the defensive end, where he usually thrives.
Giannis won the award back in 2020 where he also brought home the MVP Award for the second straight season. The Greek Freak is a monster on both ends of the floor. On defense he averaged a steal and two blocks per game, also bringing in nine defensive rebounds per game.
Draymond Green is a four-time NBA champ with the Golden State Warriors and a defensive player of the year award winner in 2017. Draymond is considered a modern-day Dennis Rodman where offensively it’s his intangibles, where defensively he’s almost impossible to score on. Draymond averages a mere eight points per game, but defensively he racks up a block and a steal per game with 6 defensive boards. Defense, however, is not all in the numbers and Draymond is a perfect example of this as he is notorious for being hard to score on.
Marcus Smart took home the award this past season as the first guard since Gary Payton in 1996. Smart is the best perimeter defender in the league and even has success guarding all five positions. His teammate Robert Williams, broke out this season as a defensive anchor for Boston. He made it almost impossible for any big to score on him down low and he shows no sign of slowing down. The time lord had a plus-minus of +370 this past season.
Bam Adebayo is only six-foot-nine but he is one of the best interior and perimeter defenders in the league. He is the reason Miami is so good against the pick and roll because he can guard the small or the big guy in any scenario.
Mikal Bridges’ name tends to be thrown under the radar, but his defensive skill-set is very impressive. He is able to guard all five positions with his freakishly large wingspan and he makes it tough for even the best stars in the league to score on him. The Suns usually task him with guarding the opposing team’s best player, which is why he tends to get overshadowed and with the coming departure of DeAndre Ayton, his defensive skills should be on display. I’m betting on Mikal Bridges to take it home this year.
- Bam Adebayo, Center, Miami Heat
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Power Forward, Milwaukee Bucks
- Draymond Green, Power Forward, Golden State Warriors
- Marcus Smart, Point Guard, Boston Celtics
- Mikal Bridges, Power Forward, Phoenix Suns
Winner: Mikal Bridges
Who Will Win The Major Awards in the NBA?
The NBA season is coming up and it’s time to start making some predictions. Who do you think will take home the major awards this year? Will Luka Doncic finally win an MVP? Or maybe Nikola Jokic will continue his streak of dominance. Let us know who you think is going to come out on top in the comments below. We can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds!