HoopsHype readers have chosen their winners for NBA regular season awards. No major surprises aside from the big advantage in votes for some of the picks.
MVP: Stephen Curry (Golden State)
Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard are all having MVP caliber seasons, but they have no shot at the award with Warriors guard Stephen Curry putting together one of the best individual seasons in NBA history while leading the most successful team ever in the regular season. Curry incredibly managed to elevate his play after winning the Maurice Podoloff Trophy in 2015. This season, he’s leading the NBA in scoring, steals, free-throw shooting percentage and (unoficially) in Vine highlights too. It’s been great to watch.
Rookie of the Year: Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota)
Future looks bright in Minnesota with a young core led by Karl-Anthony Towns, who delivered as expected and then some. The 2015 No. 1 pick got really hot after the All-Star Weekend with averages of 20 and 10 and finished the season as a Top 15 player PER-wise. Kristaps Porzingis was terrific early on, but there was no way he could keep up with Towns’ pace.
Defensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio)
His length, athleticism, smarts and intensity make him a nightmare on the defensive end. You can make a case that he’s the best two-way player in the NBA right now.
Sixth Man of the Year: Jamal Crawford (LA Clippers)
If HoopsHype readers had their way, Jamal Crawford would become the first player to win the Sixth Man of the Year award three times. The 36-year-old guard gave the Clippers instant offense and clutch scoring once again. His percentages were nothing to call home about, though.
Most Improved Player: CJ McCollum (Portland)
Minutes were going to be available with the Blazers losing four of their five starters and CJ McCollum stepped up to the plate as the second biggest reason why the Blazers are surprisingly making it to the postseason. McCollum almost tripled his scoring average (from 6.8 ppg to 20.9 ppg) and made us believe his backcourt tandem with Damian Lillard could actually work.
Coach of the Year: Steve Kerr (Golden State)
Couldn’t fulfill his head coaching duties the first half of the season, but the Warriors were a well-oiled wrecking machine regardless. There’s stiff competition for the award this year with Brad Stevens and Terry Stotts also doing terrific jobs, but HoopsHype readers thought Golden State’s 73-9 record deserved this recognition.
Executive of the Year: Danny Ainge (Boston)
Didn’t acquire a single star, but put together a team filled with above-average players who work well together and may make a deep run in the playoffs. Not only that, he has put the Celtics in a position to strike and go for that superstar player thanks to the many assets he has accumalated recently.
All-NBA 1st Team: Stephen Curry (Golden State), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) and LeBron James (Cleveland)
All-NBA 2nd Team: Chris Paul (LA Clippers), Damian Lillard (Portland), Draymond Green (Golden State), LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio) and DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento)
All-NBA 3rd Team: Kyle Lowry (Toronto), James Harden (Houston), Klay Thompson (Golden State), Paul George (Indiana) and Andre Drummond (Detroit)
All-Rookie 1st Team: D’Angelo Russell (LA Lakers), Devin Booker (Phoenix), Kristaps Porzingis (New York), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota) and Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia)
All-Rookie 2nd Team: Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver), Josh Richardson (Miami), Justise Winslow (Miami), Myles Turner (Indiana) and Nikola Jokic (Denver)
All-Defensive 1st Team: Avery Bradley (Boston), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Draymond Green (Golden State), Hassan Whiteside (Miami) and DeAndre Jordan (LA Clippers)
All-Defensive 2nd Team: Chris Paul (LA Clippers), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), Jae Crowder (Boston), LeBron James (Cleveland) and Rudy Gobert (Utah)