Anthony Davis

Early picks for MVP, Rookie of the Year, DPOY, Sixth Man, Coach of the Year & Most Improved in 2022-23

Home » NBA » NBA award predictions 2023: Early NBA award picks for MVP, DPOY & more

With the start of the 2022-23 NBA season just a couple of days away, it’s time we start putting together our list of NBA award predictions 2023.

It’s easy to be smart in hindsight and look back when all is said and done, but it takes some courage to jump ahead and make picks way before the start of the campaign.

NBA award predictions 2023

Making a season prediction is a complicated task, to say the least. You need to take multiple factors into account. Will any big trade happen? What about injuries? Will a team overperform or underperform, depending on the expectations?

Also, you don’t have to be a basketball connoisseur to realize that small-market players seldom win awards. It doesn’t matter how good they are or much of an impact they make; they’re often overlooked as most of their games aren’t even nationally televised. That’s why even if they’re in a playoff spot for most of the year, you’ll rarely see a small market team ahead of a big market contender in power rankings.

So, we took an in-depth look at each individual award and the odds for every player to come up with these NBA award predictions for 2022-23. Feel free to disagree with us and let us know in the comments, but this is how we think things will go down this season.


Sixth Man of the Year – Jordan Poole

Our first of many NBA player award predictions could be obvious to some. Jordan Poole is the leading candidate to win Sixth Man of the Year at +400 odds in most bookies, and for very good reason. For starters, he’s so good that he could be a starter in nearly every single team in the Association.

Poole’s development should be a subject of study in the league. He went from being statistically one of the worst players in the league to a blossoming star set to get a massive payday. He blossomed right before our eyes and holds a big part of the Golden State Warriors dynasty’s future in his hands.

Player Odds To Win 2022-23 Sixth Man
Jordan Poole +450
Norman Powell +850
Tyler Herro +1000
Christian Wood +1000
Malcolm Brogdon +1600
Bones Hyland +2000

Odds taken October 13 at FanDuel Sportsbook

More than that, Poole will have a chip on his shoulder all season long. He’ll look to prove that he’s no pushover after the Draymond Green altercation and demonstrate that he’s worth every dime he’s about to get. Poole’s offensive game is already impressive and versatile, and he could easily go off for 20+ with five dimes a night off the bench.

Rookie of the Year – Jabari Smith Jr.

Oddsmakers have Paolo Banchero as the leading candidate to run away with Rookie of the Year honors. However, Jabari Smith Jr. won’t let the Orlando Magic star beat him again. This time, it’s up to him to prove that they made a mistake and that he was the best prospect in his Draft class.


While the Houston Rockets aren’t expected to be much better than the Magic, they do have a much better and more promising core. Moreover, Smith proved to be an NBA-ready defender, which is something that gives him a big edge over Banchero.

Player Odds To Win 2022-23 ROY
Paolo Banchero +200
Jaden Ivey +460
Keegan Murray +460
Jabari Smith Jr +600
Bennedict Mathurin +800
Jalen Williams +2400

Odds taken October 13 at FanDuel Sportsbook

Both of them are outstanding shooters, but even though Banchero is the better playmaker, Smith Jr. is the better rebounder, more explosive athlete, and more versatile scorer. This could be a ROY race for the ages, but we believe grabbing Jabari Smith Jr. at +700 gives us way more value at this point.

Most Improved Player – Tyrese Maxey

One of our firmest NBA award predictions for 2023 has Tyrese Maxey winning Most Improved Player this season. He was tied with Anthony Edwards at +1100 odds, but we give him an edge for two reasons. For starters, he plays for a bigger market with the Philadelphia 76ers. Also, we believe Edwards will be an MVP, not an MIP candidate.

Reports from Sixers training camp raved about Maxey’s development, and he sure put on a show in limited time in the preseason. He’s learning from James Harden, and that’s a scary thought, given how versatile and offensively gifted he had looked early in his career. He’s just getting started and has a high ceiling to get better.

Player Odds To Win 2022-23 NBA Most Improved
Anthony Edwards +850
Tyrese Maxey +1200
RJ Barrett +1800
Zion Williamson +1800
Jalen Brunson +2400
Tyrese Haliburton +2500

Odds taken October 13 at FanDuel Sportsbook

Maxey will step forward as the Sixers’ starting point guard and will take as many shots as he can handle. Harden and Joel Embiid will draw most of the attention and should grant Maxey plenty of wide-open shots, so his numbers could take a major boost in his third season in the league.

Coach of the Year – Tyronn Lue

If we were to judge by projected win totals alone, then there’s no doubt that Tyronn Lue should run away with Coach of the Year honors. Of course, it’s not like he’s been dealt a tough hand, as he’ll have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back on the court for the first time in over a year.

But Lue has already proven his value and pedigree in the league and has earned the respect of his peers and colleagues over the past couple of years. It’s clear that he wasn’t just LeBron James‘ puppet, as some deemed him when he was in charge of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Coach Odds To Win 2022-23 NBA COY
Taylor Jenkins +900
Chris Finch +1000
Ty Lue +1100
Erik Spoelstra +1100
Alek Manoah +1400
Willie Green +1400

Back Ty Lue to win COY at +1100 with PointsBet

The Los Angeles Clippers are stacked at every position and have perhaps the deepest roster in the Western Conference, so there’s no room for excuses. So, if they finish with the best record in the Association, Lue and his +1100 odds will take the award home.

Defensive Player of the Year – Anthony Davis

Perhaps this is the boldest of all our preseason NBA award picks, but it’s one we had to make. For starters, we just don’t believe Rudy Gobert will take the award home again, and voters have shown absolutely no love for Bam Adebayo in the past, so we can rule him out again.

Secondly, people have wanted Anthony Davis to win a major award for years. First, he played for an ever-struggling New Orleans Pelicans team. Then, he failed to stay on the court with the Los Angeles Lakers, prompting criticism left and right.

Player Odds To Win 2022-23 NBA DPOY
Rudy Gobert +400
Bam Adebayo +700
Robert Williams +800
Giannis Antetokounmpo +1000
Draymond Green +1400
Anthony Davis +2000

All odds taken October 14 at FanDuel Sportsbook

So, now that he’s reportedly at full strength, we expect him to play with some extra motivation and look to prove that he can be the future of the franchise once LeBron James is gone. If that’s the case, then he can run away with this award at a whopping +2000 odds.

Back Anthony Davis at +2000 for DPOY at FanDuel Sportsbook — new sign-ups get up to $1000 in free bets

Most Valuable Player – Joel Embiid

Player Odds To Win 2022-23 NBA MVP
Luka Doncic +500
Joel Embiid +600
Giannis Antetokounmpo +700
Kevin Durant +1000
Nikola Jokic +1000
Ja Morant +1300
Jayson Tatum +1300
Steph Curry +1500
Zion Williamson +2500
Kawhi Leonard +2700

All odds taken October 14 at FanDuel Sportsbook

Oddsmakers have Luka Doncic as the leading candidate to win MVP, and that’s not odd at all. If anything, Luka is the most exciting young player in the league, and we wouldn’t be shocked if he won.

However, we strongly believe this is finally Joel Embiid’s year.

Embiid has been lobbying for this award for years now, and he was quite close before Nikola Jokic beat him in most advanced metrics to win the distinction last season.

The Philadelphia 76ers could be the best in the East, and that’ll be up to Embiid.

So, if the Sixers are as good and dominant as they can be, and Embiid avoids injuries — which we all know is huge if — there’s no reason to think he can’t win MVP. He’s the most dominant big man in the game and a two-way driving force not many players can contain on either side of the floor. There’s a lot of value here at +650 odds.

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