NBA awards 2022: Complete list of winners for MVP, Coach, Rookie of the Year and more

The 2022 NBA Playoffs are underway and as we saw on Monday, standout players are starting to receive some hardware for their performances in the regular season.

The NBA is announcing the 2021-22 award winners through TNT’s postseason coverage, as Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley will have a hand in naming who will take home the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year.

Voting was conducted by media members and is based only on the 2021-22 regular season.

Who will take home the league’s highest individual accolades and what did they do to deserve the award?

MORE: Watch the NBA playoffs on Sling TV (US only)

2021-22 NBA awards

(Winners in bold)

Most Valuable Player


  • Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
  • Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

After winning his first MVP last season, Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic headlines a list of finalists that includes 76ers star Joel Embiid and reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Embiid is the only one of the three that has yet to win the MVP award.

Rookie of the Year


  • Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors (winner)
  • Evan MobleyCleveland Cavaliers
  • Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons

Barnes becomes the third player in Raptors history to win the award, joining Vince Carter and Damon Stoudamire. The No. 4 overall pick in 2021, Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists over 74 games in his first NBA season.

Defensive Player of the Year


  • Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (winner)
  • Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
  • Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns

Smart was the first guard to be named Defensive Player of the Year since Gary Payton in 1995-96, and it’s only right The Glove was on sight to hand the lockdown defender his award.

Smart helped lead the Celtics to the NBA’s best defensive rating (106.2) and the lowest field goal and 3-point percentage against in the league. His 1.7 steals per game ranked third in the NBA and he also ranked in the top 10 in deflections, charges drawn and loose balls recovered.

Sixth Man of the Year


  • Tyler Herro, Miami Heat (winner)
  • Kevin LoveCleveland Cavaliers
  • Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns

Tyler Herro had a career year coming off the bench this season for the Miami Heat averaging 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 39.9 percent from 3-point range.

Herro becomes the first player in Heat franchise history to take home Sixth Man of the Year honors.

Most Improved Player


  • Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (winner)
  • Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs

All three Most Improved Player award finalists became All-Stars for the first time this season. Ja Morant had the biggest leap of them all, going from star to superstar this season averaging a career-best 27.4 points, 5.7 boards and 6.7 assists leading Memphis to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Coach of the Year


  • Taylor JenkinsMemphis Grizzlies
  • Erik SpoelstraMiami Heat
  • Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns

Three of the league’s best coaches led their respective teams to phenomenal regular seasons. Monty Williams the favorite to win the Coach of the Year award led the Phoenix Suns to the best record in the league as they pursue an NBA title after losing in the Finals last season.

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