NBA

Updated 2020-21 NBA Season Award Predictions: Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and more

Before the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, six members of our NBA.com Staff shared their predictions for each end-of-season award.

Now that we're exactly one month into the season, it's time to check in on those predictions.

Which ones are we sticking with and which ones are we changing? Below are our updated predictions and explanation as to what our toughest calls were.

Updated Award Picks (2020-21)
Award Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles) Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay) Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_)
MVP Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
DPOY Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
6MOY Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz
MIP Christian Wood, Houston Rockets Christian Wood, Houston Rockets Christian Wood, Houston Rockets
ROY LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
COY Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers

Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): MVP and DPOY are the toughest calls for me right now. MVP could go in a number of different ways, but I have faith in the Nuggets righting the ship enough for Jokic to be crowned MVP. (I have serious concerns about Denver defensively, but they should be good enough offensively when Michael Porter Jr. returns to rise up the Western Conference standings). As for DPOY, Myles Turner deserves consideration, as does Gobert and Embiid, but as long as the Lakers have the best defence in the league, I feel like Davis is the front-runner.

Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): What Rudy Gobert does defensively and has done throughout his career is incredible. The Jazz are once again one of the best defensive teams in the league. It's helped them get off to a hot start and Gobert is a big reason why.

According to NBA Stats, the Jazz are giving up 100.9 points per 100 possessions with Gobert on the floor. Without him, that number balloons to 112.5 points per 100 possessions. That the difference between Utah being the best defence in the NBA and the 25th ranked defence.

Gobert is special and we shouldn't take that for granted.

Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): I changed my MVP, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year votes and it's only been one month into the season. I don't know if that reflects more poorly on my early-season selections or represents just how all over the place this start to the season has been.

MVP was a hard switch-up, going from one teammate in Anthony Davis to another in LeBron James. LeBron has played with much more passion and urgency than I would have expected, coming off of a ring with a loaded roster around him, and I'm starting to believe if a Laker is going to get the award it's going to be James.

The other change I'm passionate about is LaMelo Ball for ROY. Although an injury to my original selection Obi Toppin got the rookie out to a slow start, it wouldn't have made a difference. I shouldn't have veered away from what was already known: LaMelo is the best player in this draft class. While I think Kings' rookie Tyrese Haliburton will keep the race somewhat close, I have no doubts the award goes to Ball at the end of the season.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

Damian Lillard defends Anthony Davis
Active players on fringes of NBA 75 team
Kyle Irving and Scott Rafferty
Embiid Simmons
What's next for Simmons and the Sixers?
Kane Pitman
Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard
Have Blazers done enough to break through?
Scott Rafferty
Michael Jordan
On this date: Jordan signs with Wizards in 2001
Yash Matange
Damian Lillard
Blazers depth chart for 2021-22 season
NBA.com Staff
LaMarcus Aldridge
NBA superstars who returned from retirement
Juan Estevez
More News