February 6, 2023

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USATSI

We’re just past the halfway point of the 2022-23 NBA regular season, and just as there is great parity among the teams at the forefront the title conversation, it would appear there is very little separation among the MVP candidates at this point as well. 

And yet, six of our eight staff picks go to the same guy. I’ll give you a hint: He would be the first three-time winner since Larry Bird in the mid-eighties. Yes, Nuggets star Nikola Jokic would take home the award halfway through this season, our staff says, but there are also votes for Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum, who should keep the MVP race interesting in the second half.

There’s a lot of agreement on all our award picks at this juncture, with two of them coming out unanimous: Paolo Banchero as Rookie of the Year and Malcolm Brogdon as Sixth Man of the Year. Below you can see where our CBS Sports staff stands on the halfway-point MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year. 

Brad Botkin

Taylor Jenkins, Grizzlies

Koby Altman, Cavaliers

James Herbert

Joe Mazzulla, Celtics

Sean Marks, Nets

Michael Kaskey-Blomain

Joe Mazzulla, Celtics

Daryl Morey, 76ers

Jack Maloney

Joe Mazzulla, Celtics

Koby Altman, Cavaliers

Sam Quinn

Jacque Vaughn, Nets

Koby Altman, Cavaliers

Bill Reiter

Joe Mazzulla, Celtics

Koby Altman, Cavaliers

Colin Ward-Henninger

Joe Mazzulla, Celtics

Monte McNair, Kings

Jasmyn Wimbish

Jacque Vaughn, Nets

Koby Altman, Cavaliers

Neither the Coach nor Executive of the Year picks were unanimous, but Mazzulla and Altman are the respective frontrunners after 40-plus games. Mazzulla unexpectedly took over in Boston just weeks before the start of the season and has Boston as the East’s No. 1 seed, while Altman’s big offseason move for Donovan Mitchell has instantly paid off in Cleveland.

Remember, a lot can change over the season’s final three months (Jokic only had three votes in last year’s midseason awards exercise), so there’s a long way to go before the hardware is handed out.

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