MVP: Russell Westbrook (OKC) – The triple double machine will thrive in Billy Donovan’s new offensive scheme with Kevin Durant.
Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert (Utah) – After the trade of defensive disaster Enes Kanter, Rudy Gobert as one of the best shot blocker/rim protectors in the league. With a full season to do damage, he could set league records.
Coach of the Year: Billy Donovan (OKC) – As I said earlier he has been waiting for this opportunity since he spurned the Magic in 2007. He wasn’t allowed to coach again in the league for five seasons as part of the release from his deal. There will be very little learning curve. He’s ready.
Most Improved Player: Otto Porter (Washington) – Porter looked great in the playoffs playing as a stretch four. Coach Randy Wittman has shown he is willing to play small ball and run more to embrace that new role in the league. Porter will benefit from that development.
Executive of the Year: Daryl Morey (Houston) – Morey got Ty Lawson for a first round pick and a bunch of guys who meant nothing to his Rockets. He’s the best GM in the business. He has inexplicably never won this award before. This will be the year.
Sixth Man of the Year: Isaiah Thomas (Boston) – I think everyone else has this pick. Thomas was unbelievable for the Celtics in his brief 25 game stint. In a full season, he will be even more effective for
Rookie of the Year: Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia)
Western Conference Champs: Houston – The Wild West is won by the Rockets. There is no way that the Warriors have the same type of luck two years in a row, and I think the Rockets are as deep as any other team in the West.
Eastern Conference Champs: Cleveland – LeBron will win the East again. He’s good at doing that.
NBA Champs: Houston – The Rockets will silence the critics when they not only defeat LeBron but win the championship.