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NBA Africa, Sports

NBA Awards: Jokic, Doncic Vie for MVP; Wembanyama a Double Nominee

The NBA announces finalists for its seven major awards, including MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Rookie of the Year.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 22nd April 2024

The race for the NBA’s most prestigious honors heated up on Sunday as the league revealed the finalists for its seven major awards. The announcement sets the stage for the highly anticipated playoffs, which tip-off on Tuesday, with award winners to be unveiled throughout the postseason.


Fans will be treated to thrilling battles for each trophy, with some categories boasting particularly close contests.


Complete list of 2023-24 awards finalists


The Most Valuable Player (MVP) race features a familiar trio: Luka Doncic, the Slovenian superstar leading the Dallas Mavericks, Serbian center Nikola Jokic aiming for a historic fourth consecutive MVP award with the Denver Nuggets, and rising Canadian guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander spearheading a young Oklahoma City Thunder team.



The Defensive Player of the Year contest throws up some intriguing possibilities. Veteran Bam Adebayo, the anchor of the Miami Heat defense, is joined by three-time winner Rudy Gobert, now patrolling the paint for the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, all eyes will be on the revolutionary rookie Victor Wembanyama, whose defensive potential with the San Antonio Spurs has captured the league’s imagination.



Other categories offer exciting narratives. The Most Improved Player race pits Philadelphia’s electrifying Tyrese Maxey against the Houston Rockets’ rising star Alperen Sengun, while Chicago’s Coby White seeks recognition for his offensive leap.



The Rookie of the Year contest is a three-horse race, with Chet Holmgren, the Oklahoma City prodigy, facing competition from high-scoring guard Brandon Miller of the Charlotte Hornets and, once again, the generational talent Wembanyama.



The battle for Sixth Man of the Year honors features sharpshooter Malik Monk of the Sacramento Kings, veteran power forward Bobby Portis providing a spark off the bench for the Milwaukee Bucks, and Naz Reid emerging as a key contributor for the Minnesota Timberwolves.



The newly established Clutch Player of the Year award recognizes those who shine in high-pressure situations. Golden State’s ageless wonder Stephen Curry finds himself alongside Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan, known for his late-game heroics, and Oklahoma City’s Gilgeous-Alexander, whose clutch performances have been instrumental in the Thunder’s surprising success.



The coaching race sees Mark Daigneault aiming to solidify his reputation as a rising star at the helm of the young Oklahoma City squad. Chris Finch, who has revitalized the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Jamahl Mosley, leading a surprising turnaround for the Orlando Magic, round out the Coach of the Year finalists.



TNT will reveal the winner of each award during its coverage of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, beginning Tuesday, April 23.


The three finalists for each annual award are based on voting results from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Each voter’s complete ballot for each award will be posted at after the announcement of all end-of-season awards.

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