As the 2022-2023 NBA season comes to a conclusion, the playoffs, draft lottery, and the announcement of the yearly NBA awards await. There are multiple races for these awards still yet to be decided, and these last few games could significantly impact what player wins what award. Many first-timers are up for the NBA Awards, but just as many returning players are looking to reclaim awards.

Let’s take a look at the likely NBA Awards finalists:

Most Valuable Player (MVP) 

The 22-23 NBA MVP will be 76ers center Joel Embiid. He has been the most dominant player in the league and has helped the 76ers claim the third seed in the Eastern Conference. This season, he joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only centers in NBA history to have three games of scoring 50 or more points.

  1. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers-33.1 PPG, 4.2 APG, 10.2 RPG.
  2. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets-24.8 PPG, 9.8 APG, 11.1 RPG
  3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks- 31.1 PPG, 5.7 APG, 11.8 RPG

Rookie of the Year

The Detroit in me wants to name Jaden Ivey as ROY, however, the NBA analyst in me believes that the Rookie of the year award should (and will) go to Paolo Banchero. He has played impressive basketball as a rookie and shown he can be a 20-point-a-night type of player in the NBA. Every rookie that averaged 19 points, six rebounds, and three assists in their rookie season since the merger has won the award. I would not expect that to change this season.

  1. Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic -20.0 PPG, 3.7 APG, 6.9 RPG
  2. Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons-16.1 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.9 RPG
  3. Jalen Williams, OKC Thunder -14.1 PPG, 3.3 APG, 4.5 RPG

Defensive Player of the Year

Bucks center Brook Lopez will win this award. Not only does he have the highest defensive rating in the NBA, but he has contributed to a first-seed Milwaukee Bucks team. His 2.5 Blocks per game are third highest in the league as well.

  1. Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks-109.3 Defensive rating, 2.5 BPG, 0.5 Steals
  2. Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers– 108.0 Defensive rating, 1.5 BPG, 0.8 Steals
  3. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies-105.3 Defensive rating, 3.0 BPG, 1.0 Steals

Most Improved Player

The most improved player award will be awarded to Shai Gilgeous- Alexander, who may very well receive a handful of MVP votes. In a breakout season, Shai is a top-five scorer in the league and will be a huge part of the future plans for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The mediocre performance of OKC as a team has shadowed the great season that SGA is having.

  1. Shai Gilgeous- Alexander, OKC Thunder -31.4 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.8 RPG
  2. Jalen Brunson, NY Knicks-24.0 PPG, 6.2 APG,3.5 RPG
  3. Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz – 25.6 PPG, 1.9 APG, 8.6 RPG

Sixth Man of the Year

The sixth man of the year award could come down to the wire, but I envision it being awarded to Immanuel Quickley. With the way he has been playing off the bench for the fifth-seed Knicks, it is hard to overlook the success of him and his team.

  1. Immanuel Quickley, NY Knicks- 14.6 PPG, 3.4 APG, 4.1 RPG
  2. Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics-14.9 PPG, 3.7 APG, 4.2 RPG
  3. Austin Reaves, LA Lakers -12.9 PPG, 3.3 APG, 3.0 RPG

As the season wraps up, check back in with us for a review of the NBA stars of 2022-23.


For more from the author Charles Bolone, follow him out on Twitter here: @cbolone

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Photo Credit: © Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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By Published On: April 8th, 2023Categories: Detroit Pistons, NBA

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