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My Darkhorse Award Winners for the 2021 Season

The NBA season sadly came to an end last night as the Los Angeles Lakers ended their playoff run with a championship. Everyone is spectating what is going to happen in free agency this year, but I want to delve into one of my favorite things about the season which is the awards. Keep in mind this article is being written on 10/11/2020 so at the moment I am basing this off the current 2019-2020 rosters not what might happen. Additionally with my Rookie of the Year section this is all speculation and I am just basing what team they might fall too. Remember this is a darkhorse list so I am fun with these ideas and most likely none of these are going to happen. Let me in know in the comments who you guys think are going to win these awards next season!


MVP: Luka Doncic

MVP is the one award where my choice is a common idea shared throughout the community because it's the MVP it's going to go to a top 5 player, there isn't much to dispute. Luka Doncic just came off a remarkable second year where he averaged 28.8PPG, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists. He made the All-NBA First team becoming the third youngest player to do so. Luka is looking to continue his dominance from his amazing playoff debut against the Clippers. With a healthy Kristaps Porzingis coming back next year and a year of them two already playing they are looking to make moves in the west. Luka is on path to having one of the greatest careers in NBA history and why not get that MVP as soon as possible. Other choices would obviously be Giannis Antetokounmpo who just came off his back to back MVP seasons, but due to potential voter fatigue and other players climbing up he may not get the award. LeBron and Ad are always going to be in the mix, but I think at this point in LeBron's career the regular season isn't his worries.


Rookie of the Year:Killian Hayes

I know what you guys are thinking. "Killian Hayes, what about Lamelo or Anthony Edwards" Those are both amazing choices and of course those are the obvious ones as they are most likely going to be top 3 picks. The problem with them is they are going to go to teams with high level scorers already. Whoever gets drafted by Minnesota is going to be the third scorer behind Kat and Dlo.If the Warriors keep their pick, that player is not going to have a Rookie of the Year season alongside Curry, Klay,Wiggins and Draymond. Lamelo would be second in this fictional rookie of the year race if he potentially lands in Charlotte with that third pick. Killian Hayes has a chance to fall to a mid-lottery pick and two of those teams are the Knicks and Pistons. Both of those teams are in need of offense and Killian Hayes can bring that.


Defensive Player of the Year: Jerami Grant

As I said earlier, this is a "Darkhorse" list so don't get so mad just yet. Of course there is the obvious answers like Giannis or Ad, but why not have fun choosing somebody else. Jerami Grant proved himself this playoff run having to guard superstars like, Donovan Mitchell, Kawhi, Pg, Ad and LeBron. His most notable success would be in the Clippers series where he put clamps on Paul George in their last 3 games(which they lost all of them). Jerami Grant next year if he does resign with Denver he is going to be their number one defender and on most nights he's going to guard the opposing team's best player. He has the size to guard

1-5 and the mobility to get through screens and guard pick and rolls. As Paul Millsap may leave in free agency a majority of that time is going to to Jerami so hopefully he can make that jump.


Most Improved Player: RJ Barrett

I really wanted to Miles Bridges in this spot, but next year I believe the Hornets are going to have too many scorers for him to really make a Most Improved Player jump. RJ Barrett had a disappointing rookie season even though he averaged 14/5/2.6. For the third overall pick and going to the desolate Knicks should present him with the scoring, but he didn't live up to that potential. The Knicks fell to the 8th pick in the NBA draft this year which left the franchise in a bit of a hard situation. They aren't going to draft the star player from this draft, so that's going to leave the offense at around the same place. RJ Barrett can take jump and I believe he can potentially be a 20+ scorer if he can become more efficient and hit his free throws.


6th Man of the Year: Norman Powell

This is one of the harder awards to determine. Of course no one knows the rosters and who is going to start next year. I believe that Dennis is going to get the star next year as Chris Paul makes his way out of OKC. And of course the two Clippers, but that's boring. Norman Powell is a sparkplug of the raptors bench and gives them great energy and shooting. We saw that in the playoffs as he was a key shot maker. In the regular season he averaged 16PPG on the team and that's with VanVleet, Gasol and Ibaka. Next year as one or even two of them may leave in free agency gives a good chance of winning the award. Unless they put him in the starting lineup, but hey anything can happen


Coach of the Year: Lloyd Pierce












I am a firm believer that next year the Atlanta Hawks are going to make the playoffs. Lloyd pierce is a good coach already, but he was working with a very young team. As Trae, John and the rest of the young fellas develop I can see this team making moves in the east.


Leave a comment with your own award winners and of course this is all fun and most likely none of these will happen(except Luka)!

Matthew Theodros