Blazer Banter’s (fake) 2015 NBA Awards

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

DISCLAIMER: I do not have a ballot. But this is what mine would look like if I did. I tried to go outside of the box for some of these. Also, since it is fake, it has given me no reason not to do so. I had fun doing these before I get into playoff previews. Because what’s the point of having League Pass if you can’t come up with fake awards?


1. Stephen Curry

2. James Harden

3. Chris Paul

4. Anthony Davis

5. LeBron James

The Rockets getting the 2nd seed has given Harden a great chance to win the award. And the best argument in is favor is he is truly the most “VALUABLE” player to his team. But Curry and the Warriors have been historically great. Nobody can guard him in any situation and his defense has also improved.

Harden is equally as deadly in the pick and roll. But if I need one shot at the end of the game give me Curry. And while the MVP isn’t “a team award” it kind of is.

Paul comes in third because his season has been spectacular, carrying the Clippers when Blake Griffin was out for six weeks. I don’t know if there has been a more under-appreciated season than his.

Most Improved

1. Jimmy Butler

2. Rudy Gobert

3. Hassan Whiteside

Butler wrapped up this award in the first month of the season. Gobert makes the cut even though his candidacy can be re-named “Ty Corbin didn’t play him because the Jazz were tanking during his rookie year.” Watching the 2013-14 Jazz made me feel bad for Corbin because it seemed like he had mandate not to win. I can’t exactly give all the credit for Gobert’s emergence to Quin Snyder just because the Jazz brass finally decided it was time to try and build winning habits. Hassan Whiteside was one of the great stories of the season and the Chris Bosh lung situation, which unfortunately ruined Miami’s season (glad Bosh is okay), as well as some temper tantrums late in the season hurt his candidacy.


1. Draymond Green

2. Kawhi Leonard

3. Rudy Gobert

Kawhi is the best perimeter defender but I’m giving it to Draymond because he can play center and guard some of the league’s best post players. Draymond is a true swiss army knife on defense and is the keystone to everything that the Warriors do defensively. It’s his versatility that makes Golden State the league’s most adaptable team.

6th Man

1. Lou Williams

2. Andre Iguodala

3. Nikola Mirotic

Lou Williams is the only player to have a song written about his 6th Man candidacy. He wins by default. Nikola Mirotic has been low-key super important for the Bulls and keeping them upright. Iguodala swallowing his pride and going to the bench has been one of the biggest under-analyzed story lines of the Warriors epic season.


1. Nikola Mirotic

2. Andrew Wiggins

3. Elfrid Payton

I’m giving the nod to the guy who contributes to a winning team. His field goal percentage could be better but his versatility on the wing gives the Bulls a new dimension they haven’t had in the Rose-Thibs era. He gets my ROY over Wiggins even though Wiggins has a lot more star potential. It’s also not exactly Wiggins’ fault he doesn’t play for a winning team. Looking at you, Flip Saunders.

Coach of The Year

1. Steve Kerr

2. Gregg Popovich

3. Mike Budenholzer

It may not exactly have been rocket science to get the Splash Brothers in motion and start Harrison Barnes to give him confidence but it didn’t have to be. Sometimes the the smallest things make the biggest difference. And don’t discredit Kerr and his Arizona connection with Iguodala for making it easier for Iguodala to buy into going to the bench. Popovich could easily have won this award as well. He tinkered with hockey-style subs and had the Spurs playing their best ball to finish the season, almost snatching the No. 2 seed.

Coach Bud not only got the Hawks to play great two-way ball but he’s also effectively been the team’s general manager as GM Danny Ferry has taken an extended leave of absence.

Executive of the Year

1. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

2. Bob Meyers, Golden State Warriors

3. Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta Hawks

LeBron James put together a title contender. Yes, David Griffin is technically the GM, but the Cavs aren’t fooling anyone. I’d let LeBron run my team, too.



G Stephen Curry

G James Harden

F LeBron James

F Anthony Davis

C LaMarcus Aldridge

I’ve already seen people eschewing positions when it comes to first-team NBA. Aldridge makes my first team because he is the toughest guard in the league in the post. He changed Portland’s season by coming back from injury and putting off surgery.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Portland would be where OKC is if Aldridge had waited to come back. They’ve been better with Meyers Leonard and Lopez together than you’d expect. Tim Duncan is still amazing but Aldridge is EVERYTHING for the Blazers and that’s not exaggeration. Of course, this raises questions of proximity bias and I’m fine with that. But seeing this team every single game and how Aldridge changes everything for them, I can’t discount the effect he has on Portland.

The Spurs are deeper and have the best coach in the league. And it’s up for debate whether Duncan is even the best player on his own team.  It was a tough choice between Duncan and Aldridge. But considering the All-Star game has eliminated the center position I’m taking the liberty to do the same on my fake All-NBA ballot.


G Chris Paul

G Russell Westbrook

F Draymond Green

F Blake Griffin

C Tim Duncan

Blake Griffin was injured for a long stretch of the season but is definitely a top-3 power forward. Draymond Green is the best defender in the league. Paul gets on third team because the guard situation this year is ridiculous.


G Kyrie Irving

G Klay Thompson

F Pau Gasol

F Kawhi Leonard

C Marc Gasol

Kawhi Leonard makes the cut because who else is going to play forward on this team? Gordon Hayward? Derrick Favors? Zach Randolph? Kawhi is the best perimeter defender in the league and his offensive emergence almost powered the Spurs to the No. 2 seed.



G Chris Paul

G Tony Allen

F Kawhi Leonard

F Draymond Green

C Rudy Gobert

Chris Paul is the best defensive point guard in the league by a country mile. He might lack some of the eye-popping plays that Westbrook provides but he also doesn’t take the risks that Westbrook does. He’s not as flashy as John Wall but he can lock down almost anyone. That time he fell over guarding Curry be damned. He’s the Point God for a reason.


G George Hill

G Klay Thompson

F Anthony Davis

F Tim Duncan

C Andrew Bogut

You’re not going to score against this team.



G Elfrid Payton

G Jordan Clarkson

F Andrew Wiggins

F Nikola Mirotic

C Nerlens Noel

Congratulations, Lakers! In all seriousness, Jordan Clarkson is the only good thing to happen to them this season.


G Zach LaVine

G Marcus Smart

F Rodney Hood

F Tarik Black

C Jusuf Nurkic

I want Tarik Black to play for a good team some day. And I needed to put Nurkic on here in order to not incur the wrath of Papa Nurkic.

I hope I didn’t miss any awards. But now on to playoff previews!

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Scroll to top