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2016-17 NBA awards predictions

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James plays against the Washington Wizards during an NBA preseason basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Now that the standings predictions are in for the 2016-17 NBA season, it’s time to predict the awards. Once again, Today’s Fastbreak editors Jason Patt and Kelly Scaletta make their picks, followed by the results of the Today’s Fastbreak staff poll (39 responses).

Jason Patt’s Picks

MVP

LeBron James — The MVP race is going to be fascinating. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry will take votes from each other, and I don’t think they or the team will have a season that’s historic/prolific enough to win. James Harden and Russell Westbrook will have crazy numbers, but their teams won’t be good enough. Guys like Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Blake Griffin, Paul George and Damian Lillard could all be in the mix, but I’m going to go with the “King,” even if he coasts part of the year.

NBA Finals MVP

Stephen Curry — Steph will be motivated after what happened in last year’s Finals and put on a show as the Warriors win the title.

Rookie of the Year

Brandon Ingram — I really thought about taking Joel Embiid here after the Ben Simmons injury, but I do worry about him staying healthy and getting enough minutes. The Lakers will make sure Ingram gets minutes and touches, and he’ll find a groove after a slow start.

Sixth Man of the Year

Andre Iguodala — I thought Iggy should’ve won it last year, so I’m going to mark him down for this year. His numbers won’t be as prolific as other candidates, but voters are getting at least a little smarter about recognizing impact without the big numbers (still work to do given Jamal Crawford’s win last year), and Iggy will get his proper due.

Defensive Player of the Year

Rudy Gobert — The Jazz should take a leap forward this season, and they’ll do it on the back of an elite defense. Gobert is the linchpin of the defense and take the crown from Kawhi Leonard.

Coach of the Year

Brad Stevens — I have the Celtics finishing second in the East, and Stevens will be rewarded for an excellent regular season.

Most Improved Player

D’Angelo Russell — Russell looked great this summer and in preseason, and he seems primed to bust out under Luke Walton after a rocky rookie season under Byron Scott and alongside Kobe Bryant’s retirement tour.

Executive of the Year

Bob Myers — The Warriors signed Kevin Durant. Enough said.

Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul, right, and Blake Griffin, left, run during practice before the start of their NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Kelly Scaletta’s Picks

MVP

Chris Paul gets the career achievement nod.

NBA Finals MVP

Steph Curry kills all “choker” talk forever

Rookie of the Year

Kris Dunn gets the annual award to the Timberwolves’ best rookie.

Sixth Man of the Year

Eric Gordon thrives in his new role and under Mike D’Antoni…assuming Patrick Beverley returns from his injury into the starting lineup.

Defensive Player of the Year

It’s Draymond Green’s turn.

Coach of the Year

Tom Thibodeau gets his second.

Most Improved Player

Myles Turner makes a big step in his new highlighted role.

Executive of the Year

Danny Ainge gets it for the culmination of the last four years.

Today’s Fastbreak staff picks

MVP

11 votes for LeBron James, 8 votes for James Harden, 6 votes for Chris Paul, 5 votes for Kawhi Leonard, 3 votes each for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, 1 vote each for Paul George, Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin

NBA Finals MVP

17 votes for Kevin Durant, 8 votes for Stephen Curry, 6 votes for LeBron James, 3 votes for Klay Thompson, 2 votes for Kawhi Leonard, 1 vote each for Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green and Al Horford

Rookie of the Year

16 votes for Joel Embiid, 9 votes for Buddy Hield, 4 votes each for Brandon Ingram and Kris Dunn, 2 votes each for Dario Saric and Jaylen Brown, 1 vote each for Jamal Murray and Domantas Sabonis

Sixth Man of the Year

6 votes for Enes Kanter, 5 votes each for Zach Randolph and Andre Iguodala, 3 votes for Will Barton, 2 votes each for Eric Gordon, Joe Johnson, Dion Waiters, Brandon Knight, Norman Powell, Brandon Jennings and Al Jefferson, 1 vote each for Rodney Stuckey, Evan Turner, Alec Burks, Marcus Smart, Allen Crabbe and Jamal Crawford

Defensive Player of the Year

24 votes for Kawhi Leonard, 7 votes for Rudy Gobert, 3 votes for Draymond Green, 2 votes for Hassan Whiteside, 1 vote each for Anthony Davis, Andrew Bogut and DeAndre Jordan

Coach of the Year

16 votes for Brad Stevens, 6 votes for Quin Snyder, 5 votes for Tom Thibodeau, 3 votes for Mike D’Antoni, 2 votes each for Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr, 1 vote each for Dwane Casey, Doc Rivers, Terry Stotts, Stan Van Gundy and Frank Vogel

Most Improved Player

6 votes for D’Angelo Russell, 4 votes each for Steven Adams and Dennis Schroder, 3 votes each for Myles Turner and Devin Booker, 2 votes each for Jabari Parker, Zach LaVine and Kristaps Porzingis, 1 vote each for Andrew Wiggins, Rudy Gobert, T.J. Warren, Clint Capela, Marcus Smart, Norman Powell, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Victor Oladipo, Evan Turner, Aaron Gordon, Dewayne Dedmon, Hassan Whiteside, Mirza Teletovic,

Executive of the Year

22 votes for Bob Myers (Warriors), 6 votes for Dennis Lindsey (Jazz), 4 votes for Danny Ainge (Celtics), 2 votes for Sam Presti (Thunder), 1 vote each for David Griffin (Cavaliers), Larry Bird (Pacers), Joe Lacob (Warriors) and Phil Jackson (Knicks), 1 undecided vote

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