The six most coveted awards in the NBA are up for grabs, and the league has officially announced the finalists.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Lakers forward LeBron James have been named as the finalists for the NBA Most Valuable Player of the Year award.
Since the league announced the NBA playoff games would not be included in the consideration for the league awards this year, we already know that one of those three superstars will be taking home the hardware.
Oddsmakers have their eye keenly on Antetokounmpo, who currently stands at -3300 odds. That is a significant lead over James, who is second on the odds board with +650. The long shot of the trio is Harden, who has +6600 odds to become the next NBA MVP. This has been Antetokounmpo’s award to lose since before the suspension of the NBA season due to COVID-19. The Bucks led the NBA with a 53-12 record through 65 games, and the Greek Freak had improved his scoring and rebounding averages from 2018-19 — the year he last won the MVP award.
Other league award finalists named
The NBA also revealed the finalists for Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
Rookie of the Year finalists are: Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson.
In the running for Defensive Player of the Year are: Antetokounmpo, Los Angeles Lakers forward/center Anthony Davis and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.
Finalists for the Sixth Man Award are: Los Angeles Clippers forward/center Montrezl Harrell, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schröder and Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams.
Most Improved Player finalists are: Miami Heat forward/center Bam Adebayo, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić and New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram.
Finally, the Coach of the Year finalists include: Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks, Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors.