NBA Free Agency kicks off in just two more days. Some players are on the trade block while others are looking to sign elsewhere. Whatever the case may be, some players are going to great situations. Here is an article on way too early 2022-2023 NBA predictions.
Rookie of the Year: Jabari Smith Jr.
Smith was an electric scorer and defender in the NCAA. He averaged some very nice numbers on good efficiency. Smith averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, two assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 block on 43% from the field, 42% from three and 80% from the line. The 3-point shooting was fantastic, and his other percentages weren’t too shabby either. Plus, his defense and athleticism were some of the main reasons that he was able to go top five in this draft. Smith Jr. is going to feast on this Houston team as one of the main options on this squad. The departure of Christian Wood is only going to help him that much more. With a decent playmaker in Kevin Porter Jr., Smith Jr. and Alperen Sengun are going to have some fun in the pick and rolls. Expect Smith Jr. to have a major role in this offense as the possible number three option.
Most Valuable Player: Joel Embiid
Embiid was second to Nikola Jokic in the MVP race this past season. Now that this is a new season with new expectations, maybe Embiid can net his first MVP award. Embiid is one of the most polarizing players in the NBA, and his averages back that up. He averaged a league-high 30.6 points to go along with 11.7 boards, 4.2 dimes, 1.1 steals and 1.5 blocks on 50% from the field, 37% from three and 81% from the line. James Harden needs to help him in the worst of ways as he frequently disappeared on his team. Maybe he’ll come back next season. Embiid is probably going to be in the running for MVP again even if this team trades for Kyrie Irving.
Defensive Player of the Year: Bam Adebayo
Adebayo being in the running for defensive player of the year has become a reoccurring thing. Fans everywhere know about his stifling defense and his overall impact, so this should come as no surprise. Already a three-time all-defensive second-teamer, he will have another crack at the DPOY award. This past season, he put up averages of 19.1 points (career-high), 10.1 boards, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals (career-high) and 0.8 blocks a game on 56% from the field and 75% from the line. If Adebayo can bring it on once more this season, he has a real shot at winning his first Defensive Player of the Year award. He’s only 24 years old, by the way. What a stud this guy has become.