2017-18 NBA Awards predictions: Durant edges LeBron for MVP as ROY is split

The NBA preseason is like a batch of chocolate chip cookies that are still too hot to eat. You can smell them, you can almost taste them, but you know you can't have them quite yet. Well, it's finally time to eat those cookies.

After the craziest offseason in NBA history in which 15 All-Stars changed teams, the NBA regular season begins, for real, on Tuesday. With that in mind, our panel of CBS Sports NBA experts decided to share their awards predictions for the upcoming season.

It was far from a consensus for MVP, with Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant narrowly edging out LeBron James, four votes to three. Last year's MVP finalists Kawhi Leonard and James Harden each received a vote, as did promising young Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Not one of our experts picked Thunder triple-double machine Russell Westbrook to repeat, perhaps because of his new teammates Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball tied with 2016 No. 1 draft pick Ben Simmons for the most Rookie of the Year votes with four apiece, while Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. received the other two. The only categories where someone earned a significant majority were Draymond Green for Defensive Player of the Year and Sam Presti for Executive of the Year.

Here are our experts' picks for Most Valuable Players, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year:

2017-18 NBA Player Awards Predictions

2017-18 NBA Coach/Executive of the Year Predictions

ExpertCoach of the YearExecutive of the Year
Bill Reiter Tom Thibodeau, Timberwolves Scott Layden, Timberwolves
Raja Bell Tom Thibodeau, Timberwolves Sam Presti, Thunder
Matt Moore Gregg Popovich, Spurs Sam Presti, Thunder
James Herbert Brad Stevens, Celtics Sam Presti, Thunder
Brad Botkin Billy Donovan, Thunder Sam Presti, Thunder
Reid Forgrave Jason Kidd, Bucks Danny Ainge, Celtics
Joey Levin Gregg Popovich, Spurs Scott Layden, Timberwolves
Jack Maloney Brad Stevens, Celtics Sam Presti, Thunder
Chris Barnewall Billy Donovan, Thunder Sam Presti, Thunder
Colin Ward-Henninger Erik Spoelstra, Heat Sam Presti, Thunder

The NBA season tips off on Tuesday with the Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the Boston Celtics at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the Warriors taking on the Houston Rockets in Oakland at 10:30 p.m. ET. Both games will be televised on TNT.

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