Who Wins the MVP Award? Who Will be Rookie of the Year? And More!
At long last the NBA season is finally upon us and while these preseason games don’t mean much, it’s always exciting to get back to watching good ol’ NBA basketball.
Sports is fun after all!
You know what else is fun? Predicting things that will happen in sports of course! Specifically awards and in this case, individual awards. With the regular season just days away, let’s take a look at the game’s best for a second. Who will become the league’s Most Valuable Player? Who will win Rookie of the Year? How about Coach of the Year?
All these questions have very simple answers, if you know where to look that is. BallnRoll is the place for exactly that and without further adieu we take a look at the players who will take home this regular season’s prestigious hardware!
Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons (PHI)
With all the hype surrounding the 2017 NBA Draft, many people have quickly forgotten that Ben Simmons will to be entering his official rookie season. A superstar in the making, Simmons missed his entire first year in the league due to a lower body injury and will finally get to make his NBA regular season debut. Showing the ability to do a little bit of everything on the court, Simmons is one of the most important parts of the Philadelphia 76ers young core. There aren’t many players like him in the league. Simmons has an incredible mix of size and skill that allows us to foresee him as a potential generational talent as he continues to grow and mature.
Now, all that is left is for him to prove it.
Honourable Mentions: Markelle Fultz (PHI), Lonzo Ball (LAL), De’Aaron Fox (SAC)
Most Improved Player: Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)
With Carmelo Anthony now gone, this will be Kristaps Porzingis’ team and the Latvian big man is more than ready for the challenge.
A seven footer with the ability to shoot from anywhere and handle the basketball, Porzingis will see his usage rate increase and with that, his level of dominance. Porzingis is undoubtedly one of the budding superstars in this league and this will be the year where he takes the next big step in his development. At this point, it’s the only thing the New York Knicks can really hope for because nevertheless it will be another rough season in ‘The Big Apple’.
Honourable Mentions: Myles Turner (IND), Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN), Brandon Ingram (LAL)
Sixth Man of the Year: Andre Iguodala (GSW)
He may no longer be the player to score in double-digits, but the intangibles that Andre Iguodala provides is what makes him one of the most elite role players in the game.
A play-maker who is still very valuable on both ends of the floor, Iggy will be heavily relied on to be a leader on and off the floor for the Golden State Warriors, a guy to defend the opposition’s best wing, and a player who can still score enough to be a threat. The Warriors have one goal in mind and that is the championship and once again, Iguodala will be a big part of their run.
Honourable Mention: Tristan Thompson (CLE), Eric Gordon (HOU), Lou Williams (LAC)
Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens (BOS)
This will be Brad Stevens’ year.
One of the best young coaches in the game of basketball, Stevens now has the pieces in place to really make a run for the NBA Finals. While rebounding will be a problem heavily discussed when referring to the Boston Celtics, Stevens has proven time and time again that he is very capable of making adjustments, working well with his players and the x-and-o’s, all while becoming an elite head coach on the NBA level.
Honourable Mentions: Gregg Popovich (SAS), Steve Kerr (GSW), Mike Malone (DEN)
Executive of the Year: Sam Presti (OKC)
Whenever you acquire Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, then extend Russell Westbrook, while dumping bad contracts all in one offseason, you’re doing a pretty good job.
In case you didn’t know, Sam Presti has been doing a pretty good job in Oklahoma City for a while now. Based on the team’s personnel and their consistent ability to compete, one would never think that the Thunder are a small market team. It will still be important for the Thunder to figure out how to distribute one basketball between three ball-dominant superstars, but there is no question that Presti has once again done a fabulous job putting together a contending roster.
Honourable Mention: Bob Myers (GSW), Koby Altman (CLE), Masai Ujiri (TOR)
Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert (UTJ)
After an incredible run just a season ago, it looks like the Utah Jazz impressive 2016-17 season will be all for naught. With Gordon Hayward now out of the loop, the Jazz will look towards other pieces in an effort to replicate the success of last season.
The piece the Jazz will rely on most will be their young French big man, Rudy Gobert. Quickly becoming one of the best and most athletic rim protectors in the NBA, Gobert was close to stealing the award last season, but now with another year under his belt, expect Gobert to put in work on the defensive side of the floor.
The Jazz may not be the same team, but Gobert will continue to be a monster under the rim!
Honourable Mentions: Draymond Green (GSW), Kawhi Leonard (SAS), Anthony Davis (NOP)
Most Valuable Player: LeBron James (CLE)
With Kyrie Irving now out of the picture and All-Star Isaiah Thomas sidelined for the foreseeable future, it will be up to LeBron James to will his team forward.
Still the greatest basketball player on the planet, one can make a case that James has deserved the Most Valuable Player of the Year award in almost every season of his career. No matter what the Cleveland Cavaliers do, their entire franchise will revolve around James and he will be the driving force of the franchise, at least for one more season. With free agency quickly approaching and rumours of James having his sites outside of Cleveland, expect LeBron to play out his potential final season as a Cav in style.
And what’s another MVP award for ‘The King’?
Honourable Mention: Kevin Durant (GSW), Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL), James Harden (HOU)