Way Too Early 2016-2017 NBA predictions

This upcoming NBA season might be really, really, really weird. Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant are retired, Dwayne Wade plays for the Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah play for the Knicks, Al Horford is a Celtic, Mike Conley got $153 million from Memphis… Everything just doesn’t make sense anymore. Oh yeah, Kevin Durant plays for the Golden State Warriors now. The off-season isn’t over just yet but most of the major free agents have been taken off the market.

Regular season

Rookie of the Year: I think it’ll be Ben Simmons. Simmons has amazing court vision for a guy his size. He can finish around the rim, pass, rebound and can become a really good defender.We all know he has no jumpshot but it will improve as his career goes along. I believe Simmons stat line will be something like 15 ppg, 8 rpg, 5 apg, 1 spg, 1 bpg on 47% shooting from the field.

Most improved player of the Year: With Jeff Teague getting traded to Indiana Dennis Schroder will shine in Atlanta. Dennis will put up Teague like numbers in his starting role. Per 36 minutes Teague averaged 19.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, and 7.5 apg. Schroder? 19.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 7.8 apg. Basically the same production.

Coach of the year: This might not be a popular pick but Quin Synder of the Utah Jazz is on my radar. I believe they will win 50-55 games this season. They have an extremely talented and young roster. They added key veterans like George Hill, Boris Diaw, and Joe Johnson. Those vets team up with the already deep talent on Utah’s roster like Rodney Hood, Dante Exum, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Rudy Gobert. If they can all stay healthy this team will do damage in the Western Conference.

Defensive Player of the Year: DWIGHT HOWARD… YEAH I SAID IT! Howard is going to shock the NBA world and be a great player next season with Atlanta. It was clear he wasn’t happy in Houston.He’s back home and is playing along side another very talented defensive player in Paul Millsap. I think Howard gets close to 3 blocks per game this season and helps Atlanta get into the playoffs.

Most Valuable Player: Well since KD, Steph, and Draymond are all on the same team I’ve already eliminated those 3 from my considerations. So there’s Russell Westbrook of course but I don’t know where he’ll be playing or if he stays with Oklahoma City if they will have a good enough record. Chris Paul is my dark horse but with Blake Griffin in trade rumors I have questions about the record of the Clippers sans BG. So my pick is LeBron James. LeBron coasts through the regular season now but I’ll just take a wild guess that Cleveland will win 55+ games and LeBron will average his normal 25-7-7-50% and that will be good enough to win his 5th MVP award.

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