We're seeing a lot of teams in the NBA that are shaping up to be contenders. Teams like the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers are doing well in the East, while the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors are at the top spots in the West. 

Many teams are surging in the standings as of late because of the stellar play by a few individuals. If these players continue their play, they'll eventually win an award at the end of the season. 

With that said, let's take a look at some of the contenders for each individual award.

Stats updated as of March 4, 2022

Most Valuable Player

The G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are just two of the many legends who have won this award. Here are some of the players who are gunning to be with the elite company this season.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

29.8 points per game

11.1 rebounds per game

1.5 blocks per game

Joel Embiid is knocking loudly on the door for MVP considerations. Although the Sixers are sitting third in the East, they're quickly becoming favorites to win this season's NBA title. With James Harden recently joining, Embiid's play will result in an MVP season.

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

28.2 points per game

5.3 rebounds per game

5 assists per game

51.6 FG%

Shooting at a scorching 51.6 percent, DeMar rarely misses. The Chicago Bulls are the second-best team in the East due to his fantastic shooting. 

Having broken NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain's record, DeMar is showing why he deserves to be given one of the best NBA player awards this season.

Rookie of the Year

It can be understandable if a rookie doesn't play well in his first season. However, the players considered for this award live up to the hype and produce excellent numbers. 

LeBron James and Kevin Durant have won this award. Here are some of the best rookies this year. 

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers

14.8 points per game

8.2 rebounds per game

18.9 EFF

Leading all rookies with an 18.9 in EFF (efficiency), Evan Mobley is a strong candidate for the Rookie of the Year awards. Mobley is the second-best in rookie scoring, with 14.8 points per game. The rookie from USC is one of the reasons why the Cavs are fifth in the East.

Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons

16 points per game

5.5 rebounds per game

5.1 assists per game

Drafted first overall, Cade Cunningham is living up to the hype. Known for his scoring prowess back in college, Cade is bringing his elite scoring skills to the pros. He leads all rookies in scoring with 16 points per game and is second in rookie assists with 5.1 per game. 

Most Improved Player

This award is given to players who have improved their skills and have become superstars throughout the years. 

Notable players who have won this award are Tracy McGrady and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Here are some players this season who will likely win this award.

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

27.6 points per game

5.9 rebounds per game

6.6 assists per game

Recently named as an all-star, Morant is averaging 27.6 points per game and producing highlight after highlight. The Grizzlies are at the third spot in a tough Western Conference primarily due to Morant's high level of play.

Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs

20.1 points per game

8.3 rebounds per game

9.4 assists per game

Dejounte Murray is close to averaging a triple-double this season. That merit alone deserves credit and has rightfully landed him in the all-star game for the 1st time in his career. Although the Spurs are struggling, Murray is one of the few bright spots for the team.

Defensive Player of the Year 

The offense wins games, defense wins championships. This award goes to players who are the main anchors of the defense on their team. 

Players such as Ben Wallace and Dwight Howard have won this award. Here are the contenders for this year's award.

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

15.5 points per game

14.8 rebounds per game

2.3 bllocks per game

Known as the "Stifle Tower," Gobert is leading the league in rebounds and blocks per game. The Utah Jazz's success is mainly because of the defense that the big man from France is playing. Look for Gobert to add another DPOY award to his resumé.

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

7.6 rebounds per game

7.4 assists per game

1.2 blocks per game

1.4 steals per game

Although Draymond won't dazzle anyone with his scoring, it's his defense that frustrates opposing players. Pair his feistiness on defense with excellent passing, and you have a player that does his role well for his team. 

Golden State is in second place in the West. Aside from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson's scoring, you have to credit Draymond Green's defense.


The players mentioned above are some of the most deserving in the league. Every contribution they make is an achievement for them and their team. 

Look for the NBA to move into an exciting playoff round this season.


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