With the regular season in the rearview mirror, we have obtained the official NBA awards ballots from media members who disclosed their votes privately with HoopsHype and others made public via social media and stories. We’ve tabulated 18 in total.
One individual award and several spots on the All-Defensive and All-Rookie Teams were separated by thin margins. The results of the poll are listed below.
(Numbers in parentheses show the percentage of points relative to the maximum amount possible for each award).
MVP: Nikola Jokic (Denver)
For all the MVP debate this season, in the end, it looks like this will be a landslide win for Jokic.
The Joker wasn’t kidding around this season and led the league in player efficiency rating (31.3), win shares (15.6), offensive win shares (12.2), box plus/minus (11.7), total field goals made (732), and two-point field goals made (640) according to Basketball-Reference.
As colleague Bryan Kalbrosky noted in a recent HoopsHype story, Jokic was one of only 11 players to play all 72 games this season. His availability on a nightly basis was critical to Denver locking up the third seed with Jamal Murray suffering a season-ending injury on April 12.
Jokic had five games of 40 or more points this season, which was more than his previous five seasons combined. He also set career-highs in points (26.4), assists (8.3), free throw percentage (.868), and minutes per game (34.6).
1. Nikola Jokic (98.3 percent)
2. Joel Embiid (53.9 percent)
3. Stephen Curry (51.1 percent)
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo (36.1 percent)
5. Chris Paul (9.4 percent)
6. Luka Doncic (5.6 percent)
7. Damian Lillard (3.3 percent)
8. Julius Randle (2.2 percent)
Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry, and Giannis Antetokounmpo all were voted unanimous 1st Team members and are joined by Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic. It’s important to note that Doncic had eligibility as a forward in the voting process, which helped his candidacy.
Joel Embiid headlines the 2nd Team after the final tally, which is a tough break for a guy who was heavily in the MVP discussion with Jokic as the top two big men this season.
Chris Paul will earn his 10th All-NBA selection after helping turn another franchise around in consecutive seasons. Knicks forward Julius Randle, who was named an All-Star for the first time, is also projected to earn his first All-NBA selection. He’s also the leading candidate for another award as you’ll see in this story.
Despite playing only 45 games this season, LeBron James will earn an All-NBA selection for the 17th time in his career according to those polled.
Kyrie Irving narrowly beat out Wizards teammates Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook for the final guard spot on the All-NBA 3rd Team.
Guard: Stephen Curry (100 percent)
Guard: Damian Lillard (81.2 percent)
Forward: Luka Doncic (81.2 percent)
Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo (100 percent)
Center: Nikola Jokic (100 percent)
Guard: Chris Paul (62.4 percent)
Guard: Jimmy Butler (34.1 percent)
Forward: Kawhi Leonard (56.5 percent)
Forward: Julius Randle (55.3 percent)
Center: Joel Embiid (71.8 percent)
Guard: Kyrie Irving (12.9 percent)
Guard: Paul George (17.6 percent)
Forward: Jayson Tatum (16.5 percent)
Forward: LeBron James (25.9 percent)
Center: Rudy Gobert (34.1 percent)
Others receiving votes: Russell Westbrook (10.6 percent), Bradley Beal (10.6 percent), Zion Williamson (8.2 percent), Bam Adebayo (3.5 percent), Donovan Mitchell (3.5 percent), James Harden (2.4 percent), Devin Booker (2.4 percent), Domantas Sabonis (1.2 percent), Trae Young (1.2 percent), Clint Capela (1.2 percent).
Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert (Utah)
Rudy Gobert is expected to earn his third Defensive Player of the Year award. In doing so, the Frenchman will become only the fourth player in NBA history to win the award at least three times joining Dwight Howard (three times), Ben Wallace (four), and Dikembe Mutombo (four).
This season, Gobert led the league in total rebounds (960), total blocks (190), defensive rating (100.6), and defensive win shares (5.2) while averaging a career-high 2.7 blocks and tied his career-high with 13.5 rebounds per game.
1. Rudy Gobert (92.9 percent)
2. Ben Simmons (62.4 percent)
3. Draymond Green (16.5 percent)
4. Clint Capela (2.4 percent)
5. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1.2 percent)
5. Bam Adebayo (1.2 percent)
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo (1.2 percent)
5. Jimmy Butler (1.2 percent)
5. Matisse Thybulle (1.2 percent)
In addition to Gobert, Ben Simmons and Draymond Green headlined the All-Defensive 1st Team. Simmons ranked fourth in defensive rating (106.1), fifth in steals per game (1.6), and sixth in defensive win shares (3.3). Green ranked third in total steals (105) and steals per game (1.7), fourth in defensive win shares (3.4), and eighth in defensive rating (106.4).
A pair of 76ers teammates earned 2nd Team honors. Mikal Bridges also made the cut after being a key part of Phoenix’s rise to the second seed in the West this season.
Guard: Jrue Holiday (78.1 percent)
Guard: Ben Simmons (100 percent)
Forward: Draymond Green (90.6 percent)
Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo (62.5 percent)
Center: Rudy Gobert (100 percent)
Guard: Matisse Thybulle (40.6 percent)
Guard: Jimmy Butler (59.4 percent)
Forward: Mikal Bridges (28.1 percent)
Forward: Joel Embiid (34.4 percent)
Center: Bam Adebayo (53.1 percent)
Others receiving votes: Myles Turner (21.9 percent), Clint Capela (21.9 percent), Kawhi Leonard (18.8 percent), Marcus Smart (12.5 percent), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6.3 percent), Paul George (6.3 percent), Chris Paul (3.1 percent), Dillon Brooks (3.1 percent), OG Anunoby (3.1 percent), TJ McConnell (3.1 percent), Dejounte Murray (3.1 percent).
Rookie of the Year: LaMelo Ball (Charlotte)
LaMelo Ball was the runaway winner for the award despite a late push from Anthony Edwards, who was one of 11 players to play all 72 regular-season games, scored over 40 points twice, and averaged 24.8 points on 49.3 percent shooting over his last 12 games.
Ball led all rookies in assists (6.1) and steals (1.6) while ranking second in points (15.7) and rebounds (5.9) per game while helping the Hornets earn a spot in the play-in tournament.
Ball brought a buzz to the Hornets and made them a must-watch team on national television with his flair for highlight passes.
1. LaMelo Ball (95.3 percent)
2. Anthony Edwards (60 percent)
3. Tyrese Haliburton (24.7 percent)
LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and Tyrese Haliburton were all unanimous All-Rookie 1st Team picks.
The last 1st Team spot came down to a close race between Saddiq Bey and Jae’Sean Tate as you’ll see below.
Bulls forward Patrick Williams made the 2nd Team. With teammate Lauri Markkanen’s future uncertain as he enters restricted free agency, Williams could have a bigger role next season in Chicago.
LaMelo Ball (100 percent)
Anthony Edwards (100 percent)
Tyrese Haliburton (100 percent)
Immanuel Quickley (87.5 percent)
Saddiq Bey (78.1 percent)
Facundo Campazzo (21.9 percent)
Jae’Sean Tate (71.9 percent)
Desmond Bane (40.6 percent)
Patrick Williams (28.1 percent)
Isaiah Stewart (46.9 percent)
Others receiving votes: Isaac Okoro (18.8 percent), James Wiseman (12.5 percent), Payton Pritchard (12.5 percent), Cole Anthony (9.4 percent), Xavier Tillman (6.3 percent), Theo Maledon (6.3 percent), Tyrese Maxey (6.3 percent), Jaden McDaniels (3.1 percent).
Sixth Man of the Year: Jordan Clarkson (Utah)
This was the tightest race of all the award categories, according to our poll, and it came down to Utah Jazz teammates Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson.
Ingles ranked third in effective field goal percentage (.652) and true shooting percentage (.672), fifth in three-point percentage (.451), seventh in offensive rating (128.6), and 12th overall in threes made (183).
Clarkson averaged a career-high 18.4 points per game and ranked seventh in threes made with 208 and 18th overall in usage percentage (29.7) this season.
1. Jordan Clarkson (74.1 percent)
2. Joe Ingles (64.7 percent)
3. Jalen Brunson (21.2 percent)
4. Derrick Rose (14.1 percent)
5. Tim Hardaway Jr (2.4 percent)
5. Carmelo Anthony (2.4 percent)
7. Bobby Portis (1.2 percent)
Most Improved Player: Julius Randle (New York)
Randle became an All-Star for the first time by transforming his game more than any player this season by taking his shooting and playmaking ability to a new level. He shot career-highs from beyond the arc (.411) and at the foul line (.811) while nearly doubling his career assist average to six assists per game this season.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has described Randle as the team’s “engine” throughout the season and was the focal point of the offense playing in all but one regular-season game and leading the league in minutes per game (37.6).
Randle will become the fourth former lottery pick in the last six years to win the Most Improved Player award joining CJ McCollum (2016), Victor Oladipo (2018), and Brandon Ingram (2020).
1. Julius Randle (100 percent)
2. Michael Porter Jr (28.2 percent)
3. Jerami Grant (24.7 percent)
4. Christian Wood (7.1 percent)
5. Mikal Bridges (5.9 percent)
6. Lu Dort (3.5 percent)
6. Jaylen Brown (3.5 percent)
8. Darius Garland (2.4 percent)
9. Zach LaVine (1.2 percent)
9. Terry Rozier (1.2 percent)
9. RJ Barrett (1.2 percent)
9. Kyle Anderson (1.2 percent)
Coach of the Year: Tom Thibodeau (New York)
No coach put his stamp on a team more than Tom Thibodeau, who helped the Knicks become one of the league’s top defensive teams in his first season and shocked many experts by leading them to the fourth seed in the East and New York’s first playoff appearance since 2013.
Last season, the Knicks ranked 18th in opponents points allowed, 27th in opponents field goal percentage, 28th in opponents three-point percentage, and 23rd in defensive rating last season.
Under the tutelage of Thibodeau, the Knicks have dramatically turned those numbers around. This season, New York ranks first in opponents points allowed (104.7), opponents’ field goal percentage (44 percent), opponents’ three-point percentage (33.7 percent), and fourth in defensive rating (107.8).
1. Tom Thibodeau (78.8 percent)
2. Monty Williams (61.2 percent)
3. Quin Snyder (22.4 percent)
4. Doc Rivers (12.9 percent)
5. Nate McMillan (3.5 percent)
6. Steve Nash (1.2 percent)
You can follow Michael Scotto on Twitter: @MikeAScotto