NBA rumors: League unveils new trophies

Stefan Bondy: The NBA is introducing six new trophies. The Larry Bird Trophy and Magic Johnson Trophy awarded to Eastern and Western Conference Finals MVPs; Eastern and Western Conference Champion Trophies Named After Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson.

More on NBA Awards

The Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone was waiting to hug him as well as the President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. "It's amazing, my horse and I were doing a fast workout in the afternoon instead of the morning and I was wondering why," Jokic said in an MVP interview from the stable. "I came back in the stable, and everybody was here. Actually, I saw my godfather's car on the track and I thought, 'what is he doing here?'
And I saw everybody in the shirts. It was really emotional, a really emotional moment for me. Nobody came here before. It's actually an amazing thing that everyone came here; it's once in a lifetime."
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić has been named the 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today. This is the second Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award for Jokić, who also earned the honor last season. He becomes the 13th player to win the award in consecutive seasons, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Stephen Curry, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Moses Malone, Steve Nash and Bill Russell.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid finished in second place with 706 points (26 first-place votes). Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo finished in third place with 595 points (nine first-place votes), followed by Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in fourth place with 216 points and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić in fifth place with 146 points.
This is the first time that both the top three and four of the top five finishers in voting for the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award are international players, with Jokić (Serbia), Embiid (Cameroon) and Antetokounmpo (Greece) comprising the top three and Dončić (Slovenia) joining them in the top five.
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today. This is the first NBA Coach of the Year Award for Williams, who joins Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05) as head coaches to earn the honor with the Suns.
Williams received 458 points (81 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins finished in second place with 270 points (17 first-place votes). Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra finished in third place with 72 points (one first-place vote). Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote
Gerald Bourguet: Monty Williams said he found out he had won Coach of the Year after his players and his family already knew "It was a pretty cool moment, and obviously just grateful to be able to share that with everybody that I work with every single day and a few of my family members."
Shams Charania: Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams has won the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year award, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Williams led the franchise to an NBA-best 64-18 record this season.
LeBron James: JA so damn tough!!!! There's no way Ja should even have been in MIP talks. This guy is a flat out ?? and always have been!! Real basketball ??s know. Not the majority of dweebs who don't even watch basketball on those voting ballots.
Ian Begley: Voting for NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, won by Miami’s Tyler Herro:
Mike Vorkunov: If Nikola Jokic wins his 2nd MVP he has an idea of how he'll celebrate: "Probably some music. Beer. Friends around. Family. Like how you're supposed to do, probably."
Draymond Green posted the audio clip and responded to Simmons. Green was not only upset at Simmons’s comments, he also wanted the NBA to take notice that someone who shares this kind of opinion shouldn’t have a vote on NBA honors like the All-Rookie teams. Honors like MVP and Defensive Player of the Year can impact contract stipulations for players, and these awards are voted on by the media. “How is it that this guy has a voice in deciding if Jalen Green will qualify for a super max deal?” Green wrote on Instagram. “He clearly says F Him, which sounds very personal btw. But he has a say in what someone earns? What work has he done in this life that qualifies him to have a say in an NBA players salary? @NBA.”
Warriors forward Draymond Green has never been shy when calling people out, and that still rings true in the middle of a playoff series. The three-time NBA champion criticized The Ringer founder Bill Simmons on his Instagram story Wednesday for what Simmons said about Rockets rookie Jalen Green. During an April 13 episode of the Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons had some harsh words for the Houston guard when comparing him to Pelicans rookie Herbert Jones. “And I put [Jones] first-team all-rookie. I put him over Jalen Green,” Simmons said. “F--- Jalen Green. I don’t care you’re scoring 40 points and your team’s 19–60. Congratulations. I'm sorry, I like winning players."
Holiday received 964 points (39 first-place votes) in balloting of NBA players. Marjanović finished in second place with 936 points (48 first-place votes). DeRozan finished in third place with 898 points (34 first-place votes). Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has some strong thoughts about a system in which members of the media vote on the NBA's top awards. Green said on his podcast Wednesday that it's "absolutely disgusting" the media determines the league's individual honors. "I think when you look at voting for All-NBA, when you look at voting for Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, MVP, ultimately these things are voting on by the media, which I think is absolutely disgusting," he said at the 4:40 mark. "Because these are human beings that could have personal issues against guys because that does happen."
Mark Medina: Draymond Green on the DPOY award: "I'm extremely happy for Marcus Smart. That's a guy I respect as a defender. Well deserved."
Jay King: Marcus Smart said he thinks one day Robert Williams will be in his position as the recipient of the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Jeff Zillgitt: Boston's Marcus Smart (257 points) named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Phoenix's Mikal Bridges (202) second, Utah's Rudy Gobert (136) third and Miami's Bam Adebayo (128) fourth.
Mikal Bridges: Congrats to Marcus Smart fr ! Happy they start realizing it aint easy guarding mfs on the island every night ! Very much deserved … I appreciate everybody that was rockin wit me lol we’ll be ok😭 its a blessing to even be apart of the convo
CJ Holmes: I asked Jordan Poole about not being named a finalist for Most Improved Player: “It is what it is.” Sure he would’ve liked to win the award, but that’s not his focus right now.
Mark Haynes: Steve Kerr didn't know Jordan Poole wasn't a finalist for the MIP award. “JP, that's shocking to me. I didn't know that...They all are worthy candidates, but I think Jordan should be in there.”
This award was separated by the thinnest of margins, with Marcus Smart edging Mikal Bridges by three total points, according to the ballots collected by HoopsHype. If Smart wins the award, he’d be the first guard to win this category since Gary Payton in 1996.
Cade Cunningham: I think I should be Rookie of the Year because of all the things I’ve been able to do for my team this year. I feel like I helped my team in a lot of different ways that may not have always turned out to be wins. If you watch my game, and watch the way that I play, you could appreciate all the things that I do on the floor. What makes me the Rookie of the Year is me being able to do so many things at such a high level.
Mikal Bridges, in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sports, wants voters to dig deeper. “I would never discredit anybody, and obviously bigs have been winning that award for a while and they do a hell of a job, but the amount of times a big has won over a guard is just crazy,” Bridges told Yahoo Sports. “I think people take it for granted how tough it is to guard the top perimeter players in this league and not be able to really touch them because they’re going to get the foul call. I feel like as a defender on the perimeter, you just get disrespected. I’m not even talking about me personally, but I don’t understand how guards in general don’t win it. These guards are shooting off ball screens, they get isos with the offense spaced out and a lot of shooters on the court. You’ve got to guard these matchups one-on-one, and I think we just get taken for granted.”
It’s been 26 years since a guard was awarded the hardware. Hall of Famer Gary Payton was the last guard to receive it in 1996. “I’m telling you, again, I’ll never discredit none of the bigs, but they don’t have the matchups we have to face,” Bridges told Yahoo Sports. “There are not as many talented bigs in the league as there are talented wing players and guards. Guarding one through four is tough. If you want to do the math, look up how many skilled players are one through four, and then how many skilled players are at the five. Obviously, you have a lot of talented fives, but out of all 30 teams, not every big on the team is very skilled. That’s just how I look at it.
Chris Kirschner: Some All-NBA ballot stuff: DeMar DeRozan eligible at forward and guard Luka Doncic eligible at forward and guard Jayson Tatum eligible at forward and guard LeBron eligible at forward and guard Jokic/Embiid eligible at forward and center
Marc J. Spears: Here are the finalists for the NBA Sportsmanship Award
Finch currently has the Wolves sitting at 42-31 and in seventh place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Denver Nuggets and the coveted sixth spot in the standings, which means avoiding the play-in tournament and having several extra days to rest before starting the postseason. They are 1.5-point home underdogs against the West-leading Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, according to MaximBet.
The 2021-2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year race is a mess. The “short” list of candidates includes at least six players (listed alphabetically): Bam Adebayo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marcus Smart, Robert Williams. Several others (Mikal Bridges, Joel Embiid, Draymond Green, Evan Mobley and Matisse Thybulle among others) should be considered as well. Why is the field so vast?
Individual defense is always hard to measure, whether via metrics or qualitative evaluation. Aside from rim-protection stats, numbers measuring individual defensive contributions can be a little rough. Additionally, with the complexity of modern defenses and length of the schedule, it is too much to ask of anyone to have watched enough of the candidates in sufficient detail to have more than a general idea of a player’s consistency of execution or his level of responsibility for his team’s level of defensive success. On top of these “every year” problems, this season has thrown up a few more wrinkles.
However, a look at non-box score informed metrics like RAPM, suggests the possibility of some diminution in his impact. Gobert has finished in the top 20 in Luck Adjusted DRAPM (which attempts to rectify shooting variance by smoothing out variations in opposing free throw and 3-point shooting upon which teams, let alone individuals, generally don’t have much impact) in each of the seven seasons prior to this one, including five seasons in the top six. He sits 36th today. The result could plausibly be the result of variance or statistical noise, but it just as likely suggests he hasn’t been quite as good.
Boston has the NBA’s best defense, though which player should get sufficient credit to be recognized as the best defender in the league this year? Six of the Celtics’ top seven (Smart, Williams, White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford) players rate in the 84th percentile or higher in dEPM. Smart’s candidacy is hurt by the fact that it’s been so long since a guard won the award that I’m not sure we would recognize what DPOY-level guard play even looked like. As Smart himself put it, those are the rules…
This rumor is part of a storyline: 174 more rumors
More HoopsHype Rumors
July 1, 2022 | 8:21 pm EDT Update

Donovan Mitchell available for the right return?

The Jazz sent Rudy Gobert to Minnesota in a deal that netted Utah four future first-round picks and 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler, per ESPN. Reports from The Athletic and ESPN stated that Utah has no plans to trade Mitchell and would retool its roster around Donovan Mitchell. But there is some skepticism about Utah’s long-term plans in the wake of the Gobert trade. Several teams still view Mitchell as attainable for the right return.
July 1, 2022 | 7:27 pm EDT Update