Do you smell that? It’s the chilly air of winter, which brings along one of my favorite things… the NBA season. The guys have been practicing and the pre-season is in full swing, which means its obviously way top early to predict the award winners… but we will try anyway. Check out our expert staff’s predictions for the major NBA awards and get ready for the upcoming season.

Will Russell Westbrook repeat his triple-double heavy season for another MVP? What about the player with the most hype in years, Laker point guard, Lonzo Ball. Will he ball out or will another fresh-faced star steal his spotlight?

Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons
Most people think Lonzo Ball will take this award but we think it will go to another… 76ers rookie Ben Simmons. Ben Simmons was actually drafted last year but since he didn’t play in the regular season, he is eligible. I expect big things from him this year and he is primed for some big numbers.
Simmons will have some nice weapons around him so his assists should be close to Ball’s numbers. We believe Simmons is a better scorer than Ball, so this may be the deciding factor. Both teams will be lucky to make the playoffs, so that shouldn’t matter much.

Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams
The Clippers lost all-world point guard Chris Paul in the offseason so their backcourt will need an influx of scoring, and enter Lou Wiliams. He is the most prolific scorer off the bench in recent years and his ability to score in a variety of ways makes him very dangerous.

Most Improved Player: Jusuf Nurkic
Nurkic was drowning in Denver while playing with Nikola Jokic, so he got shipped to the Trailblazers mid-season and he flourished. Before breaking his leg, he was really clicking with his new team, while scoring 15 and pulling in 10 boards a game. Now that he is the starting center for Portland, expect bigger numbers this season.
He was playing with some extra pep in his step once he got traded, so I think the change of scenery really helped. We think he will average 17 and 12… big number for a big guy.

Defensive Player of the Year: Jae Crowder
I know this is a stretch, but we are not going with the two favorites… Draymond Green or Rudy Gobert. Both of those players are excellent and put up dominating numbers, but something tells me that Jae Crowder is about to have a huge year. Nw that he is playing on the Cavaliers, he won’t have to guard LeBron anymore. He will, however, guard the best wing players in the game, so he will have a dogfight each night. Some will call me crazy, but who cares, it’s all guesswork now.

Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich
The SPurs coach continues to get delicious wine out of old raisins, so he must be doing something right. Expect him to continue to give his aging stars games off and it will show once they get deep into the playoffs like every year.

Executive of the Year: Sam Presti
Once Kevin Durant left, things looked bleak in Oklahoma City, but not according to Sam Presti. He pulled off some remarkable moves to acquire the kind of talent he did and automatically made his team a serious contender for a title. Expect big things from Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony.

MVP: LeBron James
Finally, the GOAT is recognized for his value. I’m sorry to all the Steph Curry and Kevin Durant fans out there but hands down, LeBron is the most valuable player on the court, every time. he deserved this award last year, so he will definitely get it this year, that’s how it all goes down.