Now that the season awards have concluded, it’s time to talk about the results. Did anyone get robbed?

Teammate of the Year

Carlo: Mike Conley has somehow helped Rudy Gobert succeed in both Utah and Minnesota. That’s some GOAT teammate shit right there. 

JE: Plenty of guys are deserving of this award. It can be anyone between Mike Conley, TJ McConnell, and Al Horford, and it would be more than fine. All three are certified veterans in their respective squads, and have seemingly become glue guys, which lead to a strong year for their teams.

Patrick Beverley should be a constant candidate in this because it’s been proven that he’ll stand for his teammates. However, he also gets countless negative points for being a prick on various off-the-court stuff, which affects his team.

Gio: He may not get much love for this award but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should have gotten more consideration for this award with how he saved Anthony Davis in Game 2. 

Aldo: It’s tough to argue that Conley doesn’t deserve the award given his body of work as a leader this season and in previous years. If I had to pick another player to win the award though, I would go with Jalen Brunson. He has become the face of the New York Knicks’ revival and is doing it alongside his college teammates Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo. Together, they’ve brought a light-hearted spirit to the Knicks’ locker room and their collective energy seems to have translated to on-court results for this overachieving team. 

Rex: Mike Conley Jr. seems like a great guy. Conley may have inadvertently destroyed his coach’s knee, but even Chris Finch would still tell you how nice of a player the veteran guard is. Good pick to win the award.


Clutch Player of the Year 

Carlo: I mean… the Warriors literally wouldn’t have even made the play-ins if it wasn’t for Steph Curry’s individual greatness. Between Draymond’s bullshit, Klay Thompson’s second career as a bricklayer, and the short frontline that the Warriors had, Curry was put into so many situations where he had to make plays in the clutch. Plus, with Curry being at the twilight of his career, it makes sense that NBA media would want him to win the award at least once. 


It’s a coin flip between Stephen Curry and DeMar DeRozan. It’s tough to pick one since both are in the same position. They remain as clutch performers and reliable scorers at age 36 and 34, respectively, who sadly have a shortage of help around them, and thus settled for disadvantageous play-in spots. 

Gio: This is another feather in the cap for Stephen Curry, who has had to carry the Golden State Warriors since Kevin Durant left and Klay Thompson suffered a string of injuries. Gone are the days where people will say Curry is a product of the system when he is in fact, the system (especially with Draymond Green’s penchant for throwing hands). 

Aldo: Stephen Curry deserves this award and every single one that he has won over the course of his career. 

Rex:  I would have loved to see DeRozan win the award over someone who probably doesn’t have enough space for another. Curry’s got four NBA titles, two MVPs, and a sure spot in Springfield. But it’s not about that, of course. 

Most Improved Player

Carlo: Yeah, it was no surprise that Tyrese Maxey won the MIP award. Maxey has had a hell of a season and established himself as the clear number two when Joel Embiid is healthy, and the top option when Embiid’s not available.

JE: While Tyrese Maxey is most definitely deserving, and is primed to stay in the All-Star level for years to come, it feels like Maxey’s true ascension already happened last season, and that his progression this year was very much expected. For that reason, I would have given it to Coby White, who suddenly raised his game as he was supposedly spiralling towards obscurity, and proceeded to give DeRozan his only consistent help this season.

Gio: With the way Tyrese Maxey has all the more blossomed given James Harden’s departure, he definitely deserves this award. Joel Embiid is still the man in Philadelphia, but given Maxey’s performances and Embiid’s absence, it may only be a matter of time until Maxey takes on an even larger role. 

Aldo: Yup, Tyrese Maxey deserves it. 

Rex: They got it right with Maxey. 

Coach of the Year

Carlo: Oh sure, Mark Daigneault deserved it after helping the Thunder win the West as the youngest first seed in history. I’d just like to show some love for Chris Finch, who showed us the true meaning of ‘taking one for the team’.

JE: You can’t go wrong with Mark Daigneault, Chris Finch, or Jamahl Mosley. However, I’ll give a slight edge to Daigneault since this 2023-24 Oklahoma City Thunder team is top 4 on offense and defense, and is also the youngest 1-seed in NBA history. Those aren’t easy to do in such a deep, talented league.

Gio: Mark Daigneault was rightly named Coach of the Year plain and simple. The job he has done since assuming the head coaching role for the OKC Thunder in 2020 has been remarkable and this season is the summit of that climb (so far). He’s built a team that never went down for a fight, even when the Thunder were focusing on amassing draft picks. Now, they’re the best team in the West (on paper) and they have backed that up by winning game and holding opponents under 100 points per game in an era where offenses have exploded. 

Aldo: Oklahoma City’s Mark Daigneault deserves it for sure, but Chris Finch of Minnesota is a close second for me. Daigneault gets the edge because of the degree of difficulty that he had to work with this season with the Thunder’s young roster. Despite having the second youngest team in the NBA, Daigenault led OKC to first place in the cutthroat West and the second-best record in the league. Now that’s impressive. 

Rex:  If Finch injured his knee in the middle of the regular season and still managed to steer the Timberwolves to a No. 3 seed in the West standings, I would have drilled a hole in my knee to show support for him. But that’s not what happened. My pick was Jamahl Mosley, as I was more surprised by the Magic finishing fifth in the East. And that’s despite having the second-longest preseason odds to win the NBA title this season.


Sixth Man of the Year

Carlo: Malik Monk got robbed. Naz Reid started 13 games for the TImberwolves, and Monk had a better year. Unfortunately for him, Minnesota’s higher spot in the standings definitely played a part. This was total dogshit in my opinion. 

JE: Malik Monk was a clear leader before he got hurt, and he unfortunately got left behind after that. Bobby Portis and Naz Reid have the same game and role, but the latter winning is the right choice. He’s a reliable offensive boost, and is a key piece on the defensive end on the best defensive team in the league. Case closed.

Gio: Naz Reid’s case was sealed when he fulfilled the next-man-up mentality for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony got injured just as the Wolves were making a run at the top seed in the Western Conference. Minnesota eventually fell to the third seed, but they were in the hunt thanks in part to Reid, who validated the three-year deal that was valued at $42 million. Some will look at the sixth man as a beacon of consistency off the bench, but Reid was the sixth man who could step up in big moments, something that deserves mentioning (and rewarding).  

Aldo: If the season ended in March, Malik Monk might have won it. The poor timing of his injury and the simultaneous hot streak of Naz Reid to end the season ultimately spelled doom for his Sixth Man of the Year hopes. 

Rex: I blame Malik Monk’s late-season injury for his losing this race to Naz Reid. He could have built a stronger case.

Defensive player of the year

Carlo: Damn, Rudy definitely deserved the award especially after how much fun they made of him when the initial trade to Minnesota happened. What I’m curious about is whether or not he’ll be able to get that fifth one to set the individual record, because there is no doubt that from next year onwards Victor Wembanyama is going to be the man to beat if the Spurs improve even a little bit. 

JE: Rudy Gobert is the anchor of the NBA’s top-ranked defense. It’s tough to argue why he shouldn’t win it this year, aside from “voter fatigue.” Victor Wembanyama will have his time, and those same people disagreeing with Gobert winning again will most probably be the same ones who would also get bored of Wemby once he dominates the DPOY race year after year.

Gio: How is the Defensive Player of the Year awarded? Is it the best player, best team like the MVP? Or is it someone who produces a great defensive season? The Minnesota Timberwolves have the NBA’s best defense and Rudy Gobert is a major reason for that. But, he also has the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns, Jaden McDaniels, and Anthony Edwards (when he’s engaged), among others to help make the Wolves defense a nightmare for opponents.  

Meanwhile, Victor Wembanyama posted not just great rookie numbers, but defensive stats that are nothing to brush off as well. However, he plays for the San Antonio Spurs, a team that has posted some subpar defensive stats. Maybe that hurt Wemby’s case, but he is a great individual defender, something voters should have taken note of. 

Aldo: Victor Wembanyama is going to win many of these awards over the next decade, but this one just didn’t belong to him. Rudy Gobert was the defensive anchor of a Minnesota team that led the league in defensive rating and led the Western Conference for the majority of the season. Anthony Edwards might be the most popular player on the Timberwolves at the moment, yet it is Gobert who ultimately makes this team’s biggest strength, its defense, possible. 

Rex: Rudy Gobert, the best player who played for the Jazz since Karl Malone, deserved the DPOY win. People just find it cool to hate on Gobert, but in an era of ever-flowing offense, Gobert is consistently proving that there’s a place for someone like him who just knows one thing at heart: defense.


Rookie of the Year 

Carlo: As if it were ever going to be anyone other than Victor Wembanyama. Rookie of the Year has never really rewarded rookies for playing on a good team, and that happened again this year. 

Chet Holmgren made a good fight out of it, especially considering that the Thunder won the West, but I never had a doubt that Wemby would walk away with the award. Let’s be fair to the Frenchman too, it’s not like he had a bad year.

JE: No other choice would make better sense than Victor Wembanyama – not to take anything away from Chet Holmgren, who may be bound for stardom too. Wemby is the clear, runaway winner. He is a generational talent on offense and defense, and has lived up to the insane hype, both by the numbers and court presence alone.

Savor liking the kid, non-Spurs fans. You will be sick of hearing about him in the near future, when he’s taking over the league and towering over your teams.

Gio: Chet deserves credit for what is technically his first year in the NBA, but this was Victor Wembanyama’s award from the start. He was great from the jump, even when you take into account the teaching moments he went through. To succeed despite all eyes being on you is no joke and moving forward, we can only hope he stays healthy. The NBA is a much better league with Wemby in it. 

Aldo: Chet Holmgren is going to be great, yet Victor Wembanyama was clearly the better player this year. Wembanyama averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.2 steals, and 3.6 blocks in 71 games this year which aren’t just Rookie of the Year numbers, but already All-NBA calibre statistics from the 20-year-old. 

Rex: If an alien can’t beat Chet Holmgren for the ROY…

Most Valuable Player

Carlo: It was a tight race but I would have been happy if any of the three finalists won. But I still believe that Nikola Jokic is the very best player in the league, even as he’s getting his ass kicked by the Timberwolves right now. I’ve gotta say, though, that I think Luka Doncic is getting ready for that trophy in the near-future. Joel Embiid can’t stay healthy and that’s not going to improve with time, so Doncic, Jokic and SGA will likely be fighting it out for MVP for quite a while because of the unique way all three of them affect their teammates.

JE: This might be the first time in a long while where the top 3 candidates are very, very, very well-deserving. Nikola Jokic is a maestro, Luka Doncic is an effortless and unstoppable offensive player, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a 30-point scorer and the steals leader on the best team in the West. You really can’t argue against anyone, so I’m cool with ‘The Joker’ winning it again. 

Gio: The top three definitely have a case to be named MVP, but I always believe that the MVP discussion should be the best player on the best team for the given season. In this case, it was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. This was easily his best season stat-wise (and the most games he’s played since going all 82 in his rookie year) and he led his team to the top seed in the tough Western Conference after finishing 10th last season. It seems like the voters went with awarding the best player in the NBA (which is fine), but it can’t come at the cost of stellar individual seasons.  

Aldo: As much as it pains me to agree with Shaq, I feel like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should have won the award. He was the best player on the best team in the West and was phenomenal on both ends of the court this season. Not only did he lead the league in 30-point games, but he also was first in the league in steals which highlights his status as an elite, if not the best, two-way player in the league today. He’s still only 25 years old though and should have many more chances to win this award in the coming years. 

Rex: The season started with me thinking Jokic as the best player in the league. It still ended that way, for me at least. But the gap between Jokic and SGA in the voting could have been narrower.