Predictions For Every NBA Award Finalists and Winners Next Season

The 2019-2020 NBA Season is destined for greatness. Almost half the NBA is in contention with the league wide open. But at the end of the season who will take home these 6 awards? Here are my predictions for the upcoming season and also one “Sleeper Pick” or “Hot Take” as I like to call it.

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NBA Coach of The Year (CoTY)

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Sleeper Pick:

Luke Walton-Sacramento Kings

Finalists:

Doc Rivers- Los Angeles Clippers

Mike Budenholzer- Milwaukee Bucks

Mike D’Antoni- Houston Rockets

Winner: Doc Rivers

Often the CoTY award is given to the team with the best record in the league. I have D’antoni in here because the rockets are always a great regular season team but I don’t think he is near a top 3 coach in the league. I believe the Bucks will remain the top team in the East (in terms of record) so that is why Bud is up there. However, Doc is one of the best in the business and knows how to work with multiple stars. He took the full strength Warriors in round one to 6 games in the playoffs without having arguably the 2 best two-way players in the league. Even with load management this team is deep and will win games even when Kawhi and/or Paul George rest. Doc will take home his second CoTY award; his first dating back to his first ever season in the league in 1999 with the Magic. Luke Walton is a VERY…VERY big bold prediction I know. The kings have a lethal young core that showed lots of promise and Luke Walton can have his fresh start in Sacramento and maybe they can make a leap to become a playoff team.

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NBA Sixth Man Award

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Sleeper Pick:

Derrick Rose-Detroit Pistons (Please come off the bench and put up 18-4-4 Drose)

Finalists:

Lou Williams- Los Angeles Clippers

Domantas Sabonis- Indiana Pacers

Fred Vanvleet- Toronto Raptors

Winner: Lou Williams

Nobody says it better than Drake. “6 man like Lou Will.” One of my favorite players to watch play is Lou Williams. He is a walking bucket. His job is to provide a spark from the bench and that’s exactly what he does by giving the Clippers 20 points per game off the bench last year. Having already won the award 3 times it would be no surprise to anyone to see him win again. Sabonis I like but does not fit well with Myles Turner so I think he would provide great depth off the bench for the Pacers and I’d love to see Vanvleet take a big leap this year and hopefully become the starter for the 2020-2021 season with a nice mentor in Kyle Lowry and a ring under his belt.

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NBA Rookie of The Year (RoTY)

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Sleeper Pick:

Michael Porter Jr.-Denver Nuggets

Finalists:

Zion Williamson-New Orleans Pelicans

R.J. Barrett-New York Knicks

Tyler Herro-Miami Heat

Winner: R.J. Barrett

Most are not surprised with the first 2 choices but the 3rd may surprise you. Zion to start off is a freak of nature and will be nothing short of that in the NBA if he can stay healthy. However, at least for his rookie year I don’t see his numbers being up there with R.J.’s. Zion has more young developing players around him that are trying to find themselves in the NBA and they need to fill the stat sheet too. David Griffin has also made it clear that this is not Zions team (yet), he said that it is still Jrue Holiday’s team. R.J. will take more shots than Zion and will ultimately average more points but on worse shooting. Not many people look at shooting percentages especially for rookies with no help around them. R.J. could potentially even average 20 a game this year. Herro is a great player and was overlooked at Kentucky but in the Summer League we could see assets of his game that we didn’t get to see in college like the ability to create his own shot or get to the hoop and create for others. Herro is a great upcoming player and is the piece Miami needs to push them into the playoffs. (By the way don’t sleep on Michael Porter Jr. either-we all know what he was in High School).

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NBA Most Improved Player (MIP)

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Sleeper Pick:

Lauri Markkanen-Chicago Bulls

Finalists:

Jayson Tatum-Boston Celtics

Jamal Murray-Denver Nuggets

Caris Lavert-Brooklyn Nets

Winner: Jayson Tatum

The MIP is interesting every year because it is always hard to predict who will take that leap to the next level in their NBA careers. I believe last year Tatum got a lot of hate but did not play as bad as most people think. He had a couple rough shooting splints but still maintained 15.7 points per game. We saw Tatum go off in the 2018 playoffs. If he can play like he did in those playoffs, (the last time he played without Kyrie) the Celtics could be a true contender this year. Caris LeVert got robbed last year as he started off the season on a tear but unfortunately only played 40 games due to injury. He came back and showed solid stuff in the playoffs and I hope he continues into this season. Jamal Murray just came off a great playoff run as we saw him play in big spots with Jokic for the first time in their young careers together. Now that Murray got the bag he can just go out and hoop like he always does. I expect a great season from him possibly even leading the league in FT%. For my bold prediction I chose Lauri because every single one of his stats went up last year including raising his points per game by 3, his rebounds by 2 and had better percentages than his rookie year. If he can play a full season he may be able to win Most Improved Player.

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NBA Defensive Player of the Year (DPoY)

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Sleeper Pick:

Mitchell Robinson-New York Knicks

Finalists:

Rudy Gobert-Utah Jazz

Paul George-Los Angeles Clippers

Anthony Davis-Los Angeles Lakers

Winner: Paul George

The DPoY award is dominated by centers as Rudy Gobert has claimed the award the past 2 years. A center or power forward has won the award every year since 2004 except in 2014 and 2015 when Kawhi won it. However this is something Paul George not only needs, but deserves on his resume as he has averaged over 2 steals the past 2 years including averaging the most steals per game in the league last season and that’s why he will take home the award. We all already know about Anthony Davis’s defensive abilities but I also believe AD will have a lot of opportunities to block shots with the Lakers weak defensive backcourt. Then, of course we have Rudy who has been an anchor for the Jazz since he’s been drafted. His impact goes far beyond his blocks as he makes everyone around him better on defense. I think this award will go the the player whose team has the best record similar to CoTY and MVP. Mitch Rob is my bold prediction because he was second in the league in blocks per game last year with 2.4 in only 20 minutes played per game. If Mitch can learn to not foul as much he may assume a bigger role on a young Knicks team.

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NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)

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Sleeper Pick:

Joel Embid- Philadelphia 76ers

Finalists:

Giannis Antetokounmpo-Milwaukee Bucks

Lebron James-Los Angeles Lakers

Stephen Curry- Golden State Warriors

Winner: Lebron James

To be completely honest with you. This would be my biggest nightmare. That is exactly why it will happen. I have the upmost respect for Lebron James as a player and a person but I am a Jordan advocate. If this happens the debate will be brought to the next level and I think that’s exactly what the NBA wants. Lebron has something to prove. For the first time in maybe 10-12 years Lebron is not the best player in the league in everybody’s eyes. Being the great that he is, he will silence all the haters by taking home his 5th MVP this season. Lebron is not human. He is still one of the most athletic and dominant players in the league even though he is the 5th oldest player on an active NBA roster. It is also Lebron’s first time not going to the Finals since 2010. He didn’t even make the playoffs. Lebron has had more time to prepare his body, rest and even get better for the next season. He will come in and dominate with his new superstar teammate Anthony Davis and shooters around them. Also, if it was up to Lebron, he would not sit a game until they clinched a playoff birth. Giannis is only getting better and it’s scary. Based on his rapid development and the things he has said to the media, he seems like he knows what it takes to truly be great. He will come back stronger, more skilled and smarter. Don’t sleep on his jumper either. Expect an even better year from Giannis! Steph is destined for a great year. The last time Curry played a full year without KD was when he was the first ever unanimous league MVP in 2016. In game 3 of the Finals with no KD Steph put up 47. I think he is out to prove that the Bay Area dynasty isn’t over just yet. Not only will he be missing KD, Klay will be out for the majority of the season if not the entire season with his ACL injury. In game 6 we saw Curry go off for 33 in the second half and he was without Klay for the last 14 minutes of the game. I truly think he can have a wild season. Embid is my wildcard. I believe it is very rare he will finish as a finalist, however, I also think it’s possible that he takes the step from superstar to Top 5 player in the league. If at any point he deals with injuries during the season, he won’t win MVP. The Sixers won’t risk not having him for the playoffs when they can slide Tobias and Horford up to the 4 and 5 from the 3 and 4 whenever they want. If Embid plays over 70 games this year I think that there is a strong chance that he can be a finalist and a future league MVP.

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Do you have any bold predictions or sleeper picks for the upcoming season?

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