The NBA released the full list of finalists for its top individual awards on Friday’s edition of NBA Tip-Off prior to the Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat play-in game.
Highlighting the list, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo were named the three MVP finalists, as expected. While Jokić is looking for his third straight MVP award, Antetokounmpo seeks his third MVP as well after winning in 2019 and 2020. Sixers center Embiid, the league’s leading scorer for the second year running is looking to get his first MVP award.
Here is a look at all the finalists for the year’s MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man of the Year, Coach of the Year and Clutch Player of the Year awards.
The Most Valuable Player award
As mentioned before, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets are up for the Most Valuable Player award.
The Defensive Player of the Year award
For the Defensive Player of the Year award, Jaren Jackson Jr of the Memphis Grizzlies, Brook Lopez of the Milwaukee Bucks and Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers are up for contention. It was Jackson Jr who ended up winning the award for the season.
The Rookie of the Year award
Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic, Walker Kessler of the Utah Jazz and Jalen Williams of the Oklahoma City Thunder are up for contention for the Rookie of the Year award.
The Most Improved Player award
Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz are up for the Most Improved Player award.
The Sixth Man of the Year
Malcolm Brogdon of the Boston Celtics, Bobby Portis of the Milwaukee Bucks and Immanuel Quickley of the New York Knicks are up for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
The Coach of the Year
Mike Brown of the Sacramento Kings, Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Joe Mazzulla of the Boston Celtics are up for the Coach of the Year award.
The Clutch Player of the Year
Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat, DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls and De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings are up for the Clutch Player of the Year award.