Where ESPN ranks potential Rockets’ awards winners

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Each year, ESPN asks the many members of its “Summer Forecast” media panel to rank their top three choices for the NBA’s six major awards. These involve a first-place vote earning five points; a second-place vote receiving three; and a third-place vote receiving one.

The awards debated for the 2023-24 season are Most Valuable Player (MVP), Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Coach of the Year.

As Houston enters what it hopes is phase two of its franchise rebuild, the Rockets are still a relatively young team. Thus, expectations for team success remain fairly minimal, at least from the outside.

But during this three-year run of prolonged losing, the Rockets accumulated some high draft picks, and with that comes expectations for improvement as the years progress. Thus, Jalen Green (No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2021 first round) and Jabari Smith Jr. (No. 3 overall in 2022) each earned Most Improved Player votes, with Smith drawing particular interest after a brilliant 2023 summer league.

Here’s a look at the categories where Houston received votes.

Coach of the Year

(ESPN’s complete 2023-24 NBA awards picks)

Most Improved Player

(ESPN’s complete 2023-24 NBA awards picks)

Rookie of the Year

(ESPN’s complete 2023-24 NBA awards picks)

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire