Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Jokic, Embiid, Curry three finalists for MVP; NBA award finalists announced

Michael Smith says “if you want the crown, you have to take down the king" in regards to the Los Angeles Clippers needing to take down the Los Angeles Lakers if they want to win the NBA title.

We don’t know who is going to win MVP... well, yes we do. It’s going to be Nikola Jokic in a runaway. But we don’t officially know who will win the award; the league has not announced that yet.

What we do know is that Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Stephen Curry are the three top vote-getters and finalists for the award. The NBA released the 2021 award finalists for six individual award categories on Thursday — these are the top three finishers for each award — with the winners to be announced over the coming weeks on TNT broadcasts before games.

Here are the award finalists (listed in alphabetical order):

Kia NBA Most Valuable Player

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets

NBA Coach of the Year

Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz
Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks
Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns

Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Kia NBA Most Improved Player

Jerami Grant, Detroit Pistons
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets
Julius Randle, New York Knicks

Kia NBA Rookie of the Year

LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves
Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings

Kia NBA Sixth Man

Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz
Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz
Derrick Rose, New York Knicks

Not everyone was impressed with these selections. For example, Bam Adebayo felt snubbed for Defensive Player of the Year.

A selected panel of media members votes on these awards, and each voter’s complete ballot for each award will be posted at after all of the awards have been announced. [For transparency, I am one of those voters.]

If you don’t want to wait that long for a discussion of how the voting broke down and why certain guys made the cut and others didn’t — including Bam Adebayo — Dan Feldman and I discussed our end-of-season award ballots on the latest PBT Podcast.