Rookie of the Year – Luka Doncic (Mavericks)
The Slovenian sensation has started the 2018-19 season in emphatic fashion, averaging 19.8 points, 2.6 triples, 6.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists on 47 per cent shooting from the field.
You can understand why everyone had him so high on their draft boards, and while his strong play has not necessarily translated to Mavs wins in the interim, it is clear that he will be a franchise player of the future.
Next in line: Trae Young (Hawks), DeAndre Ayton (Suns), Wendell Carter Jr. (Bulls).
Defensive Player of the Year – Kawhi Leonard (Raptors)
It is hard to go past The Claw, who is the 11-1 Raptors’ new defensive leader, averaging 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.
Although Leonard has only played the seven games, the star forward’s impact has been profound, providing Toronto with more length, versatility on defence and a major upgrade over DeMar DeRozan on the perimeter.
Next in line: Draymond Green (Warriors), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Rudy Gobert (Jazz).
Coach of the Year – Mike Malone (Nuggets)
No one predicted the Denver Nuggets would be a contender in the West given the powerhouse conference’s abundance of talent, yet the Mile Hile City sit in the second seed with wins over the Warriors and Celtics to their name.
Credit Malone, who has done a tremendous job with the second youngest team in the league without Isaiah Thomas (hip) and Will Barton (hip) and has transformed Denver into a top five defensive team.
Next in line: Mike Budenholzer (Bucks), Nick Nurse (Raptors), Steve Kerr (Warriors).
Most Improved Player of the Year – Zach LaVine (Bulls)
Zach Lavine is absolutely firing for the Bulls, averaging 27.9 points, 2.4 triples, 5.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and a swipe per game. Right now, Lavine’s wearing an All-Star jersey in Charlotte next year.
Although the Bulls are struggling to put wins on the board, the future is bright in the Windy City with a nucleus of LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr. and Kris Dunn.
Next in line: Caris LeVert (Nets), Jamal Murray (Nuggets), Nikola Mirotic (Bulls).
Zach LaVine dropped a career-high 41 points at The Garden 🔥 pic.twitter.com/NR7AlERj2W
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 6, 2018
MVP – Stephen Curry (Warriors)
Stephen Curry seems to take not just his game, but the game of basketball altogether to a higher level every year. And right now, he’s astronomical, averaging 31.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while leading the league in three-pointers made at an astonishing 5.6 per contest.
No player has been more dominant this season or as effective at leading their team to wins than the silky sharpshooter, and the Dubs are cruising at 10-1.
Next in line: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Kevin Durant (Warriors), Joel Embiid (76ers).
Steph’s gonna Steph.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) October 25, 2018