Jazz may be well-rep­re­sented

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Nba - BY RICK BONNELL rbon­[email protected]­lot­teob­server.com Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick­_bon­nell

Ob­server NBA writer Rick Bonnell projects awards for the 2018-19 sea­son, which starts Tues­day:

Rookie of the Year:

Cleve­land’s Collin Sex­ton. Lots of strong can­di­dates here, in­clud­ing the Hor­nets’ Miles Bridges. My think­ing is the Cavs can only be good if point guard Sex­ton has ma­jor im­pact.

Coach of the Year:

Utah’s Quin Sny­der. In­no­va­tive in play de­sign and has the play­ers to be bal­anced on of­fense and de­fense.

De­fen­sive Player of the Year: Utah’s Rudy Gobert. Some­times shot­block­ers get ex­ces­sive credit for their over­all im­pact de­fen­sively. Not in this case.

Sixth Man award:

Golden State’s DeMar­cus Cousins. He might start once he’s healthy, but wouldn’t it be a cool story if he helped the War­riors win an­other ti­tle as a su­per sub?

Most Im­proved Player: Mi­ami’s Josh Richard­son. This is the award hard­est to de­fine be­cause “Im­proved” is so sub­jec­tive based on cir­cum­stance. But Richard­son has star-in-the-mak­ing po­ten­tial.

Most Valu­able Player:

Lak­ers’ LeBron James. If James can drag this cob­bled-to­gether ros­ter to the sec­ond round of the play­offs, it would be a whole new tes­ta­ment to his tal­ent, savvy and grav­i­tas.

RICH PEDRONCELLI AP

Utah Jazz cen­ter Rudy Gobert, cen­ter, grabs a re­bound next to Sacra­mento Kings cen­ter Wil­lie Cauley-Stein, left, as Jazz guard Ricky Ru­bio, right, watches dur­ing the first quar­ter of a pre­sea­son game Thurs­day in Sacra­mento, Calif.

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