The NBA can get extremely exciting in the offseason. There are so many moving parts and it’s always so interesting to see where players and coaches end up before the season begins.
Each team is on a mission. Each team believes they’ll be capable of overachieving. Which players will actually end up overachieving to win awards?
Here are the top five best NBA futures picks with reasoning.
Jalen Brunson to Win Most Improved Player (+1600)
Jalen Brunson got the bag with the New York Knicks, earning over $100 million. Last season, he scored 16.3 points per game to go along with 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds. But that still wasn’t enough.
The Knicks gave him a lot of money, ultimately, hoping that he can up his game some more as a full-time point guard for the Knicks.
In the last two seasons, his PER hasn’t changed from about 17.19, however, his usage increased last season by 1.5.
Brunson Replacing Doncic
I’d even expect his usage to be greater with the Knicks than what it was with the Mavericks last season. When Luka Doncic was injured during the postseason, Brunson took over against the Utah Jazz, earning 27.8 points per game.
He scored over 30 points in two games and had his iconic Game 2 win over Utah where he scored 41 points in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Brunson to Become a Knicks’ Legend
Ultimately, Knicks fans and top-rated sportsbooks are going to challenge Brunson this year.
If he starts to struggle he’ll get the boos. But if he goes off, Knicks fans will notice and he’ll become a New York legend.
If we’re being honest, Brunson’s got everything he needs to take his game to the next level. So watch out for Brunson and the Knicks. Things could be exciting this year.
Luka Doncic to Win MVP (+450)
The Mavericks added some frontcourt depth for Luka Doncic this year. Last year, Dwight Powell would get the start at center and the Mavericks would rarely get production from their bigs.
Things will be different this year with Christian Wood and JaVale McGee on the roster. Doncic averaged 28.4 points per game with 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists. He was fifth in PER, third in points, fifth in assists, and 19th in rebounds, which is really good for a point guard.
It just felt like the Mavericks needed to have more success in-season to give Doncic the best shot at winning the MVP. Christian Wood should be a huge help to Dallas and their offense.
Ultimately, that will help Doncic pad his stats. A few more wins on the resume this season and Doncic could end up winning the MVP.
Malcolm Brogdon to Win 6th Man (+1200)
The Boston Celtics made it into the NBA Finals last season. Now they’ve added Malcolm Brogdon to their roster to come off the bench. That’s some insane added depth for the former Eastern Conference champions.
Even if he has to come in and play with some of the reserves, those reserves would include Payton Pritchard, Derrick White, Danilo Gallinari, and Grant Williams.
Last season, Malcolm Brogdon averaged 19.1 points per game in just 36 games. He also added 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game and had a PER of 18.10. And you’re telling me he’s coming off the bench? He would start on at least 20 teams in the NBA right now.
Brogdon can do pretty much anything that’s asked of him. He can put together games with 10 assists or he can go and drop 30. When the entire season concludes, his stats will be extremely impressive off the bench.
Ben Simmons to Win Defensive Player of the Year (+2500)
This is a gut feeling. Simmons will come into this season with a massive chip on his shoulder. We know he won’t be a bona fide scorer on a team with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. But he can do all the little things extremely well.
He’s a terrific passer, a great rebounder, and is clearly one of the best defenders in the game when his head is in the game. If Ben Simmons plays the entire season with the Nets and gets comfortable, he’s going to be a problem for every single offense.
All the memes forgot how good Ben Simmons really is.
Paolo Banchero to Win Rookie of the Year (+190)
At this point in time, it seems likely that Paolo Banchero will end up winning the Rookie of the Year award. He’s going to get the most opportunity right off the bat and with Chet Holmgren out for the season, Banchero is the clear favorite.
Other guys can absolutely step up and we don’t always see the number one overall pick get selected, but Paolo Banchero is a safe pick here.
Following the NBA odds, if you want to get a bit riskier, you can look at adding Jabari Smith at +700. He’s someone that has a scoring mentality and can shoot over most defenders with ease.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.