With so much having changed in the NBA offseason, we asked our staff who they thought were the new favorites to win each NBA Award next season.
Brad Stevens has a new star to help lead his Celtics. Paul George and Jimmy Butler are playing in the Western Conference. Chris Paul and James Harden are teammates now. The landscape of the NBA has changed dramatically in just a few weeks.
With stars moving and super teams assembling and collapsing we thought we’d take a way-too-early look at some new favorites for each of the NBA Awards. We asked our NBA newsdesk and the staff of The Step Back to pick who they thought should be the new favorite for each award. There’s a lot of chalk in these picks, but a few new faces as well.
5. Coach of the Year
Projecting Coach of the Year means finding a team that will not only have a strong season, but likely out-perform expectations for some reason or another. Here’s who our staff picked.
Brad Stevens — 46 percent
Gregg Popovich — 29 percent
Erik Spoelstra — 17 percent
Also receiving votes: Mike D’Antoni, Steve Kerr
Popovich is a perennial favorite and D’Antoni and Spoelstra both received a lot of attention for the award last season. However, Stevens seems like the obvious favorite for a number of reasons. He has a very strong reputation and his Celtics are likely to improve quite a bit next season with the addition of Gordon Hayward. If the Celtics once again pass the Cavaliers and finish as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, Stevens might be a shoo-in.