Driscoll’s 2023-24 NBA Awards Picks

Victor Wembanyama, NBA Draft, Spurs, NBA Awards

We are officially at the time of year when everyone argues over who should win each of the NBA awards.

Regardless of who wins these NBA awards, there are several deserving in each category. However, there can only be one winner for each.

Without further ado, here are my picks for the 2023-24 NBA Awards.


Coach of the Year: Joe Mazzulla

We’ll start with a controversial one, though it certainly should not be. Based on the way some people in the media talk about Mazzulla since he took over, you would think that the Celtics are about to miss the playoffs for a second straight year. Despite entering a less-than-ideal situation, he has led his team to 57 and over 60 wins in his first two seasons in Boston.

“Oh, but he had a super team!” Sure, he has had some great rosters, but we have seen time and time again that teams with great talent don’t always win a lot of games. It takes buy-in from the players and chemistry from top to bottom. Mazzulla has done a phenomenal job getting his players to buy into their roles and prioritize winning.


RELATED: Driscoll’s NBA Power Rankings Heading Into the Playoffs

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

For the beginning part of the season, it seemed like this year was going to be one of the most intense Rookie of the Year races of all time. While the top two candidates (Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren) might be one of the best rookie duos we have seen in a while, there is a clear winner.

Even though the Spurs lost 60 games, Wembanyama was phenomenal. He has averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks per game. My favorite stat about him is that he is one of four players to ever record 200 blocks in a season (Anthony Davis in 2015, Hassan Whiteside in 2016, and Rudy Gobert in 2017). The other three players went their entire seasons without hitting a pull-up three. How many has Wemby hit? 61! This is just the first chapter in the career of someone who could end up being the greatest NBA player ever.

Most Improved Player: Coby White

This was one of the hardest NBA awards to decide, mainly because “most improved” can be interpreted in so many ways. In addition, I also leave out sophomores since there is usually an anticipated jump from the first to second year. This is why I would not pick Jalen Williams. Lastly, I also think that someone who was consistently one of the better players on a super solid team the year before probably should not get it either; this is why I left out Tyrese Maxey.


White is extremely deserving. He has great basic and advanced stats, and he also stepped up in a big way since teammate Zach LaVine went down. The Bulls are in a not-so-great position with how much they are paying “mediocre” pieces, but having White locked up for the next two years on a fair contract is something to look forward to.

Sixth Man of the Year: Malik Monk

Sixth Man of the Year is another tough one to determine. Naz Reid was probably the best sixth man all year long, but he also started 17.5 percent of his games. And even though Monk didn’t play in his last ten games, he was also great this season. He averaged 15 points and five assists per game while shooting 35 percent from three. Norman Powell also earned consideration, but he was not as consistent as Monk or Reid.

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert

Gobert proved a ton of people wrong last year. After many ridiculed Minnesota for acquiring him, Gobert had one of his best seasons yet. He averaged nine defensive rebounds, 0.7 steals, and two blocks per game. He was also second in the league in defensive field goal percentage at the rim. Lastly, Gobert has anchored the best defense in the league all season long. It will sure be interesting to see how this translates to the playoffs.

Most Valuable Player: Nikola Jokic

People debate on what should be prioritized for MVP, but the bottom line is that you can’t find a single player who is more valuable (or more dominant) than Jokic. This past year, he averaged 26 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists per game with 65 percent True Shooting. Jokic also led the league in Player Efficiency Rating (PER), Box Plus Minus (BPM), and Value Over Replacement Player (VORP).

Lastly, his overall impact on the Nuggets is insane. When Jokic is off the floor, the Nuggets have a -8.59 Net Rating. When he is on the court, they have an 11.48 Net Rating. Everyone knows he is impactful, but 20 points better? That is unheard of. As valuable as Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are to their teams, they do not touch Jokic.

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