NBA award predictions 2022-2023


Bella Ruzicka

The NBA season started on Oct. 18, bringing a new challenge for teams and players to win a variety of awards.

Nine awards, some are big, some are small. The NBA season started on Oct. 18, bringing a new challenge for teams and players to win a variety of awards. Even if you can’t get your hands on the gold, there is still some silver available. Predicting these awards perfectly is near impossible, but I’ll try my best…

NBA Champion: The Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors will be the 2023 NBA Champions. It’s that simple. Point guard Steph Curry is coming off of one of his best seasons yet. Even at 34, his skills don’t seem to be fading. With the extensions of two-way slasher Andrew Wiggins, and guard Jordan Poole, the front office sees an obvious upside to both. The Warriors have incredible depth and a strong core with James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody.

Finals Most Valuable Player: Steph Curry

Curry will lead the way for Golden State’s fifth ring in eight years. Curry will be able to show the world that he is the undisputed best point guard in NBA history. Over the last eight years he has shown himself to be one of the best basketball players on the planet, and his game only improves in the finals.

Regular Season Most Valuable Player: Luka Doncic

The Dallas Mavericks have been on the cusp of greatness ever since they drafted the Slovene born player Luka Doncic. Doncic is only 23 years old, and is already entering his fourth season. According to Doncic posted 28.4 points per game (ppg), 8.7 assists per game (apg) and 9.1 rebounds per game (rpg). Doncic has a great surrounding squad with Spencer Dinwidde, and Christian Wood. He is only going to develop more this season and is sure to eventually win the MVP award.

Rookie of the Year: Paolo Banchero

Former Duke center Paolo Banchero was drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2022 draft. The draft class is one of the best in recent years, but Banchero wasn’t predicted to be picked number one. Jabari Smith and Chet Holgrem were both predicted higher than Banchero. I would’ve gone with ROTY favorite Holgrem this year, but unfortunately he suffered a foot injury while guarding Lebron James in an exhibition game over the summer. Banchero put up 17.2 ppg and 7.8 rpg in his freshman season at Duke. Banchero also has a great teammate to pair himself with in 22 year-old point guard Cole Anthony. 

Sixth Man of the Year: Jordan Poole

Jordan Poole had an unexpected burst of offense during the Golden State Warriors 2022 playoff run. He averaged 17.0 ppg in 27 minutes per game off the bench. He just signed a four year 140 million rookie-extension with The Warriors. Poole started 51 games last year, filling in for injured Klay Thompson. He will continue to come off the bench for veteran Thompson this year. Poole has a very crafty and shifty game that is Steph Curry-esque. His creativity on the floor is shown through crazy shots and slithery smooth dribbling. Poole will be the X-factor that the Warriors will need to become back to back champs. 

Defensive Player of the Year: Mikal Bridges

One of Phoenix Sun’s up and coming young players is defensive lock, Mikal Bridges. Bridges was a key player in Phoenix’s playoff run in 2021. At 26 years-old, Bridges has averaged 1.3 steals per game in his five seasons in the league. In years past, I would’ve predicted Rudy Gobert to win again which would feel like his 1000th defensive player of the year award, but he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves which brought him together with other all star center Karl Anthony-Towns.

Most Improved Player: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (SGA) is one of many young stars on the Oklahoma City Thunder, SGA shines the brightest. In his fourth season SGA averaged 24.5 ppg, 5.9 apg and 5.0 rpg. After the all star break he averaged 30.4 ppg which was one of the highest in the league. The only thing longer than his name is his extending 6 foot 11 wingspan, a trait which allows him to finish high and guard opponents at the rim. 

Coach of the Year: Joe Mazzulla

I’m just gonna be honest, I have never heard of Joe Mazzulla in my entire life. Luckily for Mazzulla, the coach of the year award doesn’t always go to the best coach, just the best team. In the leagues 75 years, there has never been a coach who has won the COTY who didn’t coach the best regular season team. And the Boston Celtics are that team. The Celtics are a tough and scrappy team with St. Louis native Jayson Tatum leading the way. The Celtics were eliminated in the finals last year, but hope to repeat their successes in the regular season. The depth for the Celtics is nearly unmatched with all star Jaylen Brown, former defensive player of the year Marcus Smart, and young players Robert Williams, Grant Williams, and Payton Pritchard.