21/02/2024

Victor Wembanyama is the clear favourite for Rookie of the Year (Photo: San Antonio Spurs / X)

A new NBA season is upon us. The championship contenders have strengthened their squads with high-quality talent, while the ladder-dwellers of last season have added talent from one of the strongest draft classes in years.

The Inner Sanctum have unpacked the season ahead and have provided their season predictions.

Liam McMahon

Champions: Golden State Warriors

Runners Up: Boston Celtics

MVP: Nikola Jokic

Finals MVP: Steph Curry

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Sixth Man of the Year: Chris Paul

Coach of the Year: Steve Kerr (Golden State)

Most Improved Player: Cade Cunningham

Bold Prediction: Magic make playoffs

Jackson Mansell

Champions: Boston Celtics

Runners Up: Golden State Warriors

MVP: Nikola Jokic

Finals MVP: Jayson Tatum

Rookie of the Year: Scoot Henderson

Defensive Player of the Year: Evan Mobley

Sixth Man of the Year: Cam Thomas

Coach of the Year: Chauncey Billups (Portland)

Most Improved Player: Tyrese Maxey

Bold Prediction: Portland will make the playoffs without Damian Lillard for the first time since the 2010/11 season

Juri Bilcich

Champions: Milwaukee Bucks

Runners Up: Denver Nuggets

MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Finals MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Kevon Looney

Sixth Man of the Year: Bobby Portis 

Coach of the Year: Chris Finch (Minnesota)

Most Improved Player: Desmond Bane

Bold Prediction: The Minnesota Timberwolves after two straight first-round exits, will advance to the conference semifinals for the first time since Kevin Garnett’s MVP year in 2004.

Lachlan Dand

Champions: Milwaukee Bucks

Runners Up: Golden State Warriors

MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Finals MVP: Damian Lillard

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Evan Mobley

Sixth Man of the Year: Chris Paul

Coach of the Year: Steve Kerr (Golden State)

Most Improved Player: Josh Giddey

Bold Prediction: OKC returns to the NBA playoffs

Brandon Patane

Champions: Boston Celtics 

Runners Up: Phoenix Suns 

MVP: Luka Doncic

Finals MVP: Jayson Tatum 

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Evan Mobley 

Sixth Man of the Year: Bobby Portis 

Coach of the Year: Billy Donovan (Chicago)

Most Improved Player: Anfernee Simons 

Bold Prediction: Chicago Bulls storm into their first Eastern Conference Semifinals since 2015

Kye Ferreira

Champions: Denver Nuggets

Runners Up: Milwaukee Bucks

MVP: Luka Doncic

Finals MVP: Nikola Jokic

Rookie of the Year: Chet Holmgren

Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis

Sixth Man of the Year: Immanuel Quickley

Coach of The Year: Mark Daigneault (Oklahoma City)

Most Improved Player: Jordan Poole

Bold Prediction: DeMar DeRozan gets traded on the last day of the trade deadline 

More Basketball News:

Ethan Lee Chalk

Champions: LA Clippers

Runners Up: Boston Celtics

MVP: Luka Doncic

Finals MVP: Kawhi Leonard

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Sixth Man of the Year: Bones Hyland

Coach of the Year: Tyronn Lue (LA Clippers)

Most Improved Player: Russell Westbrook

Bold Prediction: Chet Holmgren out for another season with injury

Lauren Rosenberg

Champions: Golden State Warriors

Runners Up: Miami Heat

MVP: Steph Curry

Finals MVP: Klay Thompson

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Jaren Jackson Jr.

Sixth Man of the Year: Jordan Clarkson

Coach of the Year: Ime Udoka (Houston)

Most Improved Player: Jalen Green

Bold Prediction: The Rockets will sneak their way into the playoffs either directly or through the play-in 

Ashleigh Matosevic

Champions: Milwaukee Bucks 

Runners Up: Phoenix Suns

MVP: Jayson Tatum

Finals MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo 

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Bam Adebayo

Sixth Man of the Year: Jordan Clarkson

Coach of the Year: Ime Udoka (Houston)

Most Improved Player: Alperen Sengun

Bold Prediction: Both Charlotte Hornets and Utah Jazz will be last on the ladder at the end of the regular season for their respective conferences

Callan Cummins

Champions: Boston Celtics

Runners Up: Denver Nuggets

MVP: Luka Doncic

Finals MVP: Jayson Tatum

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wenbanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Evan Mobley

Sixth Man of the Year: Chris Paul

Coach of the Year: Erik Spoelstra (Miami)

Most Improved Player: Anfernee Simons

Bold Prediction: Celtics and Heat face off in fourth ECF in five years, C’s win 4-3

George Zimmerman

Champions: L.A. Lakers

Runners Up: Milwaukee Bucks

MVP: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Finals MVP: LeBron James

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wenbanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Evan Mobley

Sixth Man of the Year: Bobby Portis

Coach of the Year: Mark Daigneault (Oklahoma City)

Most Improved Player: Anfernee Simons

Bold Prediction: On the back of Shai’s MVP season, OKC reach Western Conference Finals

Scott Kertes

Champions: Milwaukee Bucks

Runners Up: Phoenix Suns

MVP: Luka Doncic

Finals MVP: Damian Lillard

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Defensive Player of the Year: Joel Embiid

Sixth Man of the Year: Bobby Portis

Coach of the Year: Nick Nurse (Philadelphia)

Most Improved Player: Josh Giddey

Bold Prediction: Victor has first quadruple double in 30 years!

Oliver Williamson

Champions: Denver Nuggets

Runners Up: Milwaukee Bucks

MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Finals MVP: Nikola Jokic

Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama

Defensive of the Year: Evan Mobley

Sixth Man of the Year: Chris Paul

Coach of the Year: Darvin Ham (LA Lakers)

Most Improved Player: Scottie Barnes

Bold Prediction: Wembanyama to make an All-NBA team

Final Tally:

Champions:

4 – Milwaukee Bucks

3 – Boston Celtics

2 – Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets

1 – LA Clippers, LA Lakers

Runners Up:

3 – Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks

2 – Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets

1 – Miami Heat

MVP:

4 – Luka Doncic

3 – Giannis Antetokounmpo

2 – Nikola Jokic

1 – Steph Curry, Jayson Tatum, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Finals MVP:

3 – Jayson Tatum

2 – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic

1 – Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, LeBron James

Rookie of the Year:

11 – Victor Wembanyama

1 – Scoot Henderson, Chet Holmgren

Defensive Player of the Year:

6 – Evan Mobley

1 – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevon Looney, Anthony Davis, Victor Wembanyama, Jaren Jackson Jr, Bam Adebayo, Joel Embiid

Sixth Man of the Year:

4 – Bobby Portis, Chris Paul

2 – Jordan Clarkson

1 – Cam Thomas, Immanuel Quickley, Bones Hyland

Coach of the Year:

2 – Ime Udoka, Steve Kerr, Mike Daigneault

1 – Chauncey Billups, Chris Finch, Billy Donovan, Tyronn Lue, Erik Spolstera, Nick Nurse, Darvin Ham

Most Improved Player:

3 – Anfernee Simons

2 – Josh Giddey

1 – Cade Cunningham, Tyrese Maxey, Desmond Bane, Jordan Poole, Russell Westbrook, Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Scottie Barnes

About Author