A new season is here already as just a calendar year ago the 2020 campaign ended. With the 82-game schedule making its return, iconic performances and surprises are much awaited. The NBA Championship race along with the player awards are wide open, but there can only be one winner respectively. Check out this year’s 2021-2022 player award predictions.
Rookie of the Year – Jalen Green
The Houston Rockets will be a very exciting team to watch having Jalen Green at the forefront with Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. Expect Green and Cade Cunningham to have an immediate impact, but Green is the most NBA-ready now.
Ballot: Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs
Sixth Man of the Year – Derrick Rose
Rose will be splitting large minutes with Kemba Walker at the point. A repeat of his standout 2021 campaign puts him in great position to add a 6MOTY trophy next to his MVP award.
Ballot: Jordan Clarkson. Tyler Herro, Tyrese Haliburton
Defensive Player of the Year – Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler is the league’s best defender hands down. He can guard all five positions as his all-around versatility is vital towards the Heat’s success. A non-bigman hasn’t won DPOY since Kawhi in 2016, but that will change in 2022.
Ballot: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis
Most Improved Player – Jaren Jackson Jr.
Coming off an torn meniscus injury in the bubble, Jaren Jackson Jr. provided the missing spark to help push the young Grizzlies into the playoffs. With a full off-season under his belt, expect Triple J to make a great leap alongside Ja Morant.
Ballot: Lonzo Ball, Kevin Porter Jr., Saddiq Bey
Most Valuable Player – Joel Embiid
In a cutthroat Eastern Conference, Joel Embiid and the 76ers have a great chance to repeat at the top of the standings. In 51 games he averaged 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks on career-high FG and three-point shooting. Had he have not been injured, the MVP could have went to him. This is the year to rightfully claim the award.
Ballot: Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum