2024 NBA Awards Watch

Victor Wembanyama

MVP: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder

30.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 6.5 apg, 1 bpg, 2.3 steals per game, 54-37-87 shooting %

First, credit to Joel Embiid, who was having one of the biggest seasons of the modern era, but due to injury cannot win his second MVP, which would have been a unanimous vote.

Nikola Jokic is considered the favorite for MVP, but he’s having the same type of season for a fourth straight campaign, while Gilgeous-Alexander has led one of the least experienced NBA teams to the No. 1 seed in the West. If you took him off the Thunder, they wouldn’t win 30 games. As well as Gilgeous-Alexander and Jokic, there are three players who have legitimate arguments to be made. Jayson Tatum is the superstar for by far the No. 1 team in wins; Giannis Antetokounmpo has MVP numbers while being an elite defender; and Luka Doncic is having the biggest season for a guard since James Harden nearly 10 seasons ago.

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert, Timberwolves

Gobert has helped to build the Timberwolves into an incredible defensive team and is the favorite for his fourth DPOY, which would solidify the French center as a Hall of Famer – if that were a question. He may not have the block or steal numbers of some of his competitors, but he is the anchor of a potential title-winning defense.

There is only one other candidate who could officially also be in the running, rookie Victor Wembanyama, who is already the No. 1 rim protector in the NBA and can guard multiple positons. Wembanyama could win this award five or more times in the future, but for this season, it is going to be Gobert.

Sixth Man: Malik Monk, Kings

Monk will be winning this award, as he’s had a brilliant season in their second unit. He is one of the elite scorers and playmakers when it comes to reserves, and he is performing like that for a playoff team.

There are a number of quality candidates though for the award. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been big for the Mavericks; Bogdan Bogdanovic has played big for the Hawks; and Cleveland’s Caris Levert deserves serious consideration. Monk, however, is Sacramento’s No. 3 guy and is quite important to them, which provided him added value.

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama, Spurs

This is pretty easy because Wembanyama has had the No. 1 rookie season of the modern era, far superior to that of LeBron James. With 21 ppg, 11 rpg, 4 apg, 1.3 steals per game and 3.6 blocks per game, Wembanyama is first for rookies in four-of-five of the big stats. He is also 7-foot-4 and already an elite player. Wembanyama will be the face of the NBA within five seasons.

It’s a shame that Chet Holmgren is a rookie this season, as he would have been the winner for this award most years. He has averaged 16.5-8-2.5-0.6-2.4 for a title contender this season and deserved a mention.

Most Improved Player: Tyrese Maxey, 76ers

This seems to be a very, very likely result, as Maxey has gone from an elite combo guard, to an All-Star point guard. He has increased his role while basically switching positions. The massive increase in statistics obviously hurt his ridiculous efficiency, but the efficiency numbers were still strong this season.

Last Season: 20.3 points, 3.5 assists

This Season: 26 points, 6.3 assists

Coach of the Year: Mark Daigneault, Thunder

The Thunder were considered a playoff contender when the season started, yet they are title contenders although their four key guys are 26 years old or less. Oklahoma City is one of the youngest teams in the NBA, and Daigneault has his squad at least two seasons further in development than assumed. This was a 51-49 choice because Chris Finch in Minnesota had an incredible season too.

All-NBA First Team

G: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder

G: Luka Doncic, Mavericks

F: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

F: Tatum, Celtics

F: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

As these are the five players in competition for MVP, they are incredibly likely to be All-NBA First Team. Jokic has the video-game numbers for a contender in the West with no All-Star teammates; Doncic is having an insane offseason/season, one not seen since James Harden’s prime; Giannis Antetokounmpo is a 30-point scorer and an incredible defender; Tatum is the No. 1 guy on the No. 1 team in the league; and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander guided the young Thunder to contention. If Embiid were actually able to make this team, he would be in this over Antetokounmpo.

All-NBA Second Team

G: Jalen Brunson, Knicks

G: Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves

F: Kevin Durant, Suns

F: Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

F: Domantas Sabonis, Kings

Many are saying Edwards will probably be one of the probable faces of the sport after LeBron James/Steph Curry retire. Edwards’ athleticism and talent resemble Michael Jordan, as well as his quirky and fun personality, mean he can become one of the biggest stars on and off the court.

Brunson’s rise from elite role player, to first option, to superstar has been incredible. He is the Knicks’ franchise player.

Durant is agless and just averaged 27-7-5 on 53-42-86 shooting percentages in his 17th season and for one of the elite teams in the league. He’s a machine.

The Clippers may have a stacked roster, but Leonard is their No. 1 guy; it’s not a contest. He has more than earned a spot on the All-NBA Second Team.

Sabonis will probably be sixth in MVP voting because he is first in rebounding, double-doubles and triple-doubles. Additionally, he is nearly averaging a triple-double.

All-NBA Third Team

G: Stephen Curry, Warriors

G: Donovan Mitchell, Cavaliers

F: LeBron James, Lakers

F: Jalen Brown, Celtics

F: Anthony Davis, Lakers

Two Lakers may be too much, but James deserved his spot, while Embiid not being elligable gave Davis the last spot. James has been basically the same for 20 seasons, and although he’s nowhere near his prime, he can still produce in the NBA.

If the Warriors were a contender, Curry at the very least would have been on the All-NBA Second Team, but they are incredibly average, and although he has little help, he’s still been brilliant.

Jalen Brown almost made my All-NBA Second Team, but Kawhi Leonard earned that forward spot. Regardless, Boston’s No. 2 star had another huge season and helped the Celtics become the No. 1 seed in the East, while having All-Star numbers.

The Cavaliers should not be where they are due to injury, but Mitchell, their All-Star shooting guard, has had a brilliant season helping guide them to a home playoff series.

All-Defensive First Team

G: Alex Caruso

G: Herb Jones

F: Giannis Antetokounmpo

F: Jaren Jackson

C: Rudy Gobert

Alex Caruso is a human wrecking ball who has had another monster season. He has energy, the ability to read defense for easy steals, and possesses both hustle and a talent of being annoying. Caruso may be the No. 1 non-big defender in the NBA. He could legitimately guard 90% of the players in the league.

Herb Jones is long, and he uses that length to be one of the scrappiest defenders in the NBA and has a lot of versatility. Having Jones as a starter allows the Pelicans to play four non-defensive talents, which allows their offense to thrive.

Giannis Antetokounmpo uses his incredible size, length and athleticism to be a versatile and monster defender. Jackson is the reigning DPOY, and while the Grizzlies were quite poor this season and lacked a real center, he is still an excellent rim protector and defender.

Gobert is about to win his fourth DPOY as he, and his Timberwolves are a menace defensively. Using his massive size and length, it’s very difficult to score on him.

All-Defensive Second Team

G: Jrue Holiday

G: Terrence Mann

F: Aaron Gordon

F: Dillon Brooks

C: Victor Wembanyama

Wembanyama will be second in DPOY, but because he is a five, he will likely have to settle for the All-Defensive Second Team as well.

Brooks was signed for big money to give his team a strong defender at the three and be the base for their defense, and he has played very well in his first season there.

Gordon’s become a defensive ace for Denver, letting his scoring lessen as he works harder on defense, and with his elite athleticism, he can be special. The way Denver plays as a team is special.

Mann is kind of a forgotten starter with the Clippers, but he’s an excellent defender and has beaten a lot of competition to be the starter. Holiday has little need to score too much or run the offense that much, so he is set free to be the monster defender he is.

All-Rookie First Team

Keyonte George, Jazz

Brandin Podziemski, Warriors

Victor Wembanyama, Spurs

Brandon Miller, Hornets

Chet Holmgren, Thunder

Victor Wembanyama will win the ROY award and probably be second for DPOY; so yeah, he will make this list too. He is having one of the biggest rookie seasons in league history, surpassing even LeBron James. Chet Holmgren, meanwhile, is the No. 2 player on a title contender, so he also makes the list. Brandon Miller is the No. 2 rookie scorer and would win ROY in many seasons, so he is also a very easy choice for this honor.

After the first three, there’s no obvious answer, but Keyonte George was probably the No. 1 guard. He averaged a solid 13 ppg and 4.5 apg and appears to be a big piece for the Jazz, although they picked him 16th. The fifth spot was not easy, where Ausar Thompson, Amen Thompson and Jaime Jaquez were considered, but Podziemski continued to grow this season and is a very talented two-way guard.

All-Rookie Second Team

Amen Thompson, Rockets

Ausar Thompson, Pistons

Jaime Jaquez, Heat

Bilal Coulibaly, Wizards

Dereck Lively, Mavericks

The results of the 2023 NBA Draft have been excellent, but people are so into Wembanyama, Miller and Holmgren that the secondary rookies are forgotten. The Thompson Twins who went No. 4 and 5 in the draft deserved to make this All-Rookie Second Team. Ausar Thompson was a stud for the Pistons immediately with his size, athleticism and defense, while Amen Thompson was playing big time toward the end of the season. Ausar Thompson needs to develop a jump shot if he wants to be a plus starter. Amen Thompson is the third guard on his team, but due to his athleticism and size, he is a versatile player who can play three positions. He’s also a growing scorer and playmaker who deserves a much bigger role.

Jamie Jaquez at pick No. 18 was the lowest drafted of the 10 rookies over the First and Second Teams, but he fit the Heat culture right away and was an excellent role player for them as a plus scorer and playmaker. He needs to develop more of a jump shot, but he should be a big piece for them. Pick No. 7, Bilal Coulibaly, was considered to a project – and still is one -, but the Warriors were such a dumpster fire, that he saw a lot of minutes. He has huge defensive potential, but he also shot the ball pretty well this year. Coulibaly needs a lot more minutes and shots.

Dereck Lively, the 10th pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, would probably be on the All-Rookie First Team if the Mavericks had not traded for Daniel Gafford, who has been a big addition and took Lively’s starting job – plus Lively got hurt. Still, Lively is an excellent rebounder and shot-blocker who is a ridiculously efficient scorer. If he were to develop a jumper, he could be a franchise big man.

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