2018-2019 NBA Preview: Award Predictions
Executive of the Year: Arturas Karnisovas (Denver)- Over the last few years, the Nuggets have developed one of the league’s best young core’s. Over the off-season, they added onto it by drafting Michael Porter Jr. They also signed Nikola Jokic and Will Barton to extensions and signed Isaiah Thomas to come off the bench. Karnisovas was also able to trade away the salaries of Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried. Nothing sexy here but very good for this year and for years to come.
Rookie of the Year: DeAndre Ayton (Phoenix)- Despite being the number one overall pick in the draft, it seems Ayton is not the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. That would appear to be Luka Doncic. But the reason I’m going with Ayton is because of opportunity. He’s going to get plenty of minutes and playing next to Devin Booker will give Ayton more freedom to operate down low.
6th Man of the Year: Tyreke Evans (Indiana)- Indiana’s starting wingmen from last season all return which is why Tyreke Evans will be coming off the bench. Evans will still get a lot of playing time as he’s one of the few players in the league who can play point guard, shooting guard, and small forward very well. Evans and Victor Oladipo could form a dangerous back-court.
Most Improved Player: Lauri Markkanen (Chicago)- Chicago has one of the best young cores in basketball and Lauri Markkanen is at the heart of it. Chicago had very little talent around Markkanen last year and still put up impressive numbers as a rookie. Now with a healthy Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker surrounding him, Markkanen will take a huge jump.
Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens (Boston)- Over the last few years, many consider Brad Stevens to be the 2nd best coach in basketball (only behind Pop). However, Stevens still has not won the Coach of the Year. That will change this upcoming season. The Celtics are expected to have the best record in the East and maybe the entire NBA. It won’t be Steven’s finest coaching achievement but it will be his time to get the award.
Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis (New Orleans)- Last season, Davis made his 1st All-Defensive First Team and he’s still getting better. Davis averaged 2.6 blocks during the regular season and has a career average of 2.4. Davis will on the low block more with DeMarcus Cousins gone which means more blocks for Davis.
Most Valuable Player: Kyrie Irving (Boston)- Call me a homer if you want but Kyrie Irving has all the aspects of being an MVP. He’s entering his 8th season and entering his prime at age 26. Irving is the best player on the team I believe will win the most games. And most importantly, he’s going to have an incredible season. Everything is turning up green and Kyrie is at the center of it.
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Steve Santoro (SVS_1993)