With the NBA season officially completed, media members across the world are now responsible to put in their votes for a variety of NBA awards. While there seems to be established favorites for each one, this article will reveal my personal picks.
Nikola Jokic (-380)
Joel Embiid (+265)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (+800)
My Pick: Joel Embiid (+265)
While Jokic is the clear favorite for the award, I still believe Joel Embiid should be the player to take home the award for Most Valuable Player. The NBA’s scoring leader is the first center to average 30.0 points a game in a season since 1982 and is the first international player to claim the title.
The Philadelphia 76ers remained a top-four seed all year despite spending most of it without a second star. Even the addition of James Harden did not pay major dividends in the regular season, as Embiid continues to be depended upon to generate a maximum scoring output.
Read more about why Joel Embiid is the best bet for NBA MVP.
Defensive Player of the Year
Marcus Smart (-250)
Bam Adebayo (+500)
Mikal Bridges (+600)
My Pick: Bam Adebayo (+500)
I am intrigued to see who comes out on top here, as no clear favorite established himself throughout the entire season. Marcus Smart is the favorite, but he does not have any signature defensive moments or statistics to back up his campaign.
If I had a vote, Bam Adebayo would be the top name on my list. The versatile center can switch and guard any position on the court, and his role as the defensive anchor assisted in the Miami Heat’s first-seed designation.
Rookie of the Year
Evan Mobley (-210)
Scottie Barnes (+155)
Cade Cunningham (+1000)
My Pick: Cade Cunningham (+1000)
Another underdog to win the award, Cade Cunningham is playing the best basketball of any rookie in the second half of the season despite a lack of team success. Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes are contributors on playoff teams, though neither has reached the level of play Cunningham has in their first year.
The first-overall pick recorded eight games with 25+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 5+ assists, more than all other rookies combined. He already is performing like a future star and is well-deserving of the high selection.
Check out the first-round series bets for the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
Sixth Man of the Year
Tyler Herro (-10000)
Kelly Oubre (+6600)
Kevin Love (+6600)
My Pick: Tyler Herro (-10000)
One of the more clear-cut races, Tyler Herro is running away with Sixth Man of the Year. Herro’s 20.9 points per game mark only the second time in the last 30 years a bench player averaged over 20.0 points.
After struggling in the playoffs in 2021, the third-year guard silenced a lot of critics during this scoring run. Miami will rely on his output in order to win a highly competitive Eastern Conference.
Most Improved Player
Ja Morant (-830)
Darius Garland (+600)
Dejounte Murray (+1800)
My Pick: Ja Morant
No player broke through into superstardom like Ja Morant did this season. The undersized point guard is dominating teams in the interior, leading the entire league in points in the paint. His MVP-level play put the Memphis Grizzlies back onto the NBA map, and now the Grizzlies stand as the second seed in the Western Conference with hopes of making a title run.
Coach of the Year
Monty Williams (-2000)
Erik Spoelstra (+700)
Taylor Jenkins (+800)
My Pick: Monty Williams (-2000)
The Phoenix Suns have the best record in the NBA by leaps and bounds, so it is only fair Monty Williams receives the last of the NBA awards. Williams’ arrival to Phoenix marked the beginning of a franchise-saving culture shift, as the reigning champions of the West are now favorites to represent the conference again.