NBA Awards Power Rankings At Christmas

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry. / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

For many people, the NBA season (or at least their attention to it) doesn't begin until Christmas. It's the unofficial start of the season, especially as the football regular season begins to wind down. As the first checkpoint in the year, it's about time we do our first check in on who's in the lead for the top awards in the league.

The top three awards are the Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year. Here's how the odds stack up, with odds via WynnBET.

NBA Awards Leaders At Christmas

Most Valuable Player Odds and Power Rankings

1. Stephen Curry (+110)

Stephen Curry is the clear leader for MVP this season. The Warriors are back to looking like the Warriors of old and Curry is leading the charge. He just broke the all-time three-point record and has a chance to average 27/6/5 and shoot 40% from three. He's doing it all and is above the pack right now.

2. Kevin Durant (+225)

Durant, at several times this season, has looked like the best player in the world. He's put up huge numbers and scores with ease. The reason I have him second is because of the head-to-head matchup with Curry that went south for Durant and the fact that Curry doesn't have another high-level offensive player on his team like a James Harden.

3. Nikola Jokic (+1200)

What Jokic is doing this season is remarkable. He's having a better year than last year, when he won the MVP and has the Nuggets in fifth place in the Western conference. That's a big deal considering his top two sidekicks are now out for the year and Will Barton and Aaron Gordon are his running mates.

Defensive Player of the Year Odds and Power Rankings

1. Draymond Green (+150)

Green, even with the decline of his offense, has remained elite on defense. He is the quarterback of the Warriors' league-leading defense. He's versatile and doesn't give up a big advantage anywhere. Green can stop the ball, close out, rotate around the floor and get the rebound all on one play... and then he'll do it again on the next.

2. Mikal Bridges (+1500)

In year's past, the DPOY award has gone to the best defensive big man. It makes sense as the centers are usually the anchor of a defense. However, there is something to be said for being a great perimeter defender and locking up the players that put the ball in the basket. Bridges does that every night and got to show the world his abilities when he did it to Steph Curry on national television. Bridges is as good as any perimeter defender and deserves credit.

3. Rudy Gobert (+225)

Although Gobert is the poster child for why centers don't deserve to be the top candidate for this award, he still does his job at a high level. He still mans the middle as well as anybody in the league and is the backbone of the Jazz's defensive scheme.

Rookie of the Year Odds and Power Rankings

1. Evan Mobley (+125)

Mobley is the second part of the "Twin Towers" Cleveland is building. Mobley can defend at a high level, his offense is good for a rookie and he is able to stretch the floor. What Mobley has done in the early part of this season is great and it's clear that he is going to be in the league for a long time.

2. Scottie Barnes (+300)

When people talk about how the NBA is position-less and it is eventually going to be dominated by versatile wings, they are talking about a league where Scottie Barnes is the prototype. Barnes is a "do-everything" type of player and has helped the Raptors be somewhat competitive.

3. Cade Cunningham (+250)

Cunningham started off slowly at the beginning of the season, but he has answered the call. Since Jerami Grant got injured, Cunningham has become the primary scorer for the Pistons and is showing flashes of the star he can be in the future. There are two things holding him back, though. The first is that the Pistons are the worst team in the league and the second is just the time missed. He would have to take it to another level to make up for lost time.