We're nearly halfway through the NBA season, which means we have a big enough sample to start thinking about end-of-season awards. Of course, we'll be looking at this from a fantasy perspective. Most of the fantasy awards track with the real-life awards, but Most Improved Player has been replaced with Boom of the Year, plus an added "award" for Bust of the Year.

Most Valuable Player

LeBron James, Lakers

A month ago, this would have gone to either the reigning MVP and last year's No. 1 fantasy player in Nikola Jokic, and Stephen Curry was making a push as well. That was before Anthony Davis sprained his MCL, forcing LeBron to completely take over for the underwhelming Lakers.

He's the best fantasy player on the season, but his past nine games have been especially ridiculous: 34.3 points on 55/40/79 shooting, 9.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.4 blocks in 36.6 minutes. This is unprecedented from someone LeBron's age. Also, If he finishes the season as the No. 1 fantasy player, it would be his first time doing so since 2010-11. It's an incredible step forward after he ranked 20th last season, ninth the year before and 16th in his first year as a Laker.

Rookie of the Year

Cade Cunningham, Pistons

All the hype has gone to Evan Mobley, and Scottie Barnes is getting his fair share of media attention. Plus, Josh Giddey and Franz Wagner have looked good. Overall, 2021 is shaping up to be a stacked draft class. However, Cunningham has emerged as the best fantasy option of the group despite the horribly slow start.

Over his past 10 appearances, Cunningham has averaged 18.5 points on 46/46/81 shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.3 combined steals-plus-blocks in 33.9 minutes. He's the 48th-best fantasy player of the year to date but jumps to 23rd during this stretch. The main step forward has been his efficiency. Prior to this 10-game stretch, he had splits of 34/25/87. Cunningham's defensive ability has also been an underrated part of his campaign. There's no reason to expect his production to decline significantly over the remainder of the year, and he should remain the top rookie.

Defensive Player of the Year

Myles Turner, Pacers

There are candidates for this award who have a more balanced defensive profile. For example, Lonzo Ball's 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks, LeBron's 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks, or Giannis Antetokounmpo's 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals. However, Turner's complete dominance in the blocks category gives him the edge for this award.

Turner is again leading the NBA in blocks per game (2.8), and he's significantly above second-place Rudy Gobert (2.3). It's Turner's second year in a row leading the NBA in blocks and third time in his career, though this year isn't quite as ridiculous as last year's 3.4 swats. Turner is also chipping in 0.6 steals per game, which again is lagging behind last year's 0.9 steals, so there is room for growth. If you're rostering Turner, you don't have to think about blocks outside of him.

Boom of the Year

Miles Bridges, Hornets

Bridges' preseason ADP was 115, and he's returning a third-round value. There are a couple of other players with bigger ADP-to-Rank ratios, like Desmond Bane and Gary Trent, but Bridges' impact on fantasy has been the most significant given how highly he ranks. Before the season, it seemed like Bridges' role may actually decrease given some offseason additions like Kelly Oubre and Mason Plumlee.

Last year, Bridges averaged 12.7 points on 50/40/87 shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 29.3 minutes (17.3% usage). This year, he's averaging a surprising 19.6 points on 47/31/78 shooting, 7.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals (22.5% usage). He's slowed down a bit since his blistering start, but he's still having a fantastic season, and both his three-point and free-throw percentages clearly have room to grow. Fantasy managers in dynasty leagues that bought low also have to feel great about his future.

Bust of the Year

Jalen Green, Rockets

Maybe it's in poor taste to give this "award" to a rookie, but Green had a preseason ADP of 46, which is high enough to make a huge impact on fantasy managers that drafted him. It was right to assume he'd have extremely high usage, but Kevin Porter Jr. is taking up a ton of usage himself, and it's preventing Green from playing more on the ball.

Green is ranked just 175th overall this season, making him hardly worth rostering in 14-team leagues. He's averaging just 15.3 points on 40/33/83 shooting, 2.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 30.5 minutes. He's flashed plenty of potential so he's likely a hold if you can afford the roster spot, but fantasy managers near the bottom of the standings should probably move on.