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NBA will not count Orlando restart when considering annual performance awards

This development will impact several former Wildcats.

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Thankfully, the NBA is going to resume play in the near future. After suspending play in mid-March due to the novel coronavirus, the NBA announced that July 30 in Orlando, Florida, will be the first day back in action.

Teams will play eight games before being seeded and finishing up the season in the typical playoff format. The league’s restart brought up many questions, mainly regarding the safety of the players.

Something that got tossed on the back burner was the thought of year-end awards. The typical award show has been taking place after the season and is based on performances in the regular season.

For this unique 2019-2020 season, the awards will be of just the first 65ish games. The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania broke the news about how the awards will be judged.

There will be several former Wildcats that may be up for awards.

The two most notable are Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo, both playing for the Miami Heat, one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Herro earning Rookie of the Year honors is far less likely as Ja Morant or Zion Williamson seem to have that locked up.

However, Adebayo has a very good shot at winning Most Improved Player.

He went from averaging 8.9 points to 16.2, 7.3 rebounds to 10.5, and 2.2 assists to 5.1. He also increased his steals and blocks per game. With Jayson Tatum ranked No. 3, Bam Adebayo was ranked second by NBA.com for MIP. Brandon Ingram came in the top spot.

Anthony Davis also has a distant shot at Most Valuable Player and could very easily be among the top finalists for Defensive Player of the Year.