It is time for an annual tradition: predicting the winners of the NBA's end-of-season awards. In about six months, votes will be cast based on what happens on the court in between now and then, and, because the league insists on having a televised awards show, we'll find out who won a couple months after that, having long since moved on from the debates and discussions around them. 

With opening night just one day away, our panel of writers made their picks for all the major awards: Most Valuable Player, 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. In only one instance was there a consensus. (Hint: We like the young man who dunked all over the preseason before his knee injury took some of the luster off of Tuesday's season opener.) Here's how the panel thinks the races will play out n the 2019-20 season: 

2019-20 NBA Awards Predictions

2019-20 NBA Coach/Executive of the Year Predictions

ExpertCoach of the YearExecutive of the Year

Raja Bell

Mike D'Antoni

David Griffin

Bill Reiter

Quin Snyder

Lawrence Frank

James Herbert

Rick Carlisle

Lawrence Frank

Brad Botkin

Erik Spoelstra

Lawrence Frank

Colin Ward-Henninger

Quin Snyder

David Griffin

Jack Maloney

Doc Rivers

Lawrence Frank

Sam Quinn

Erik Spoelstra

Jerry West

Michael Kaskey-Blomain

Brett Brown

Lawrence Frank

Jasmyn Wimbish

Alvin Gentry

Lawrence Frank

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Joel Embiid, Steph Curry and Zion Williamson are popular picks for this year's awards. Michael Meredith (CBS Sports)

Most Valuable Player

Why Stephen Curry will win the award: Curry never actually lost his crown as the league's Most Valuable Player in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. He willingly surrendered it to accommodate Kevin Durant. Now Durant is gone, and Curry is ready to pick up right where he left off. Curry has never been one for gaudy numbers, but with Klay Thompson out and a weaker Warriors team likely to need him to play more minutes than ever, expect a new career-high in scoring for the soon-to-be three-time MVP. -- Sam Quinn

Rookie of the Year

Why Zion Williamson will win the award: This was the easiest prediction of them all, as Williamson is a once-in-a-generation talent who is expected to stand out from the rest of his rookie peers. After being the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Zion will have ample opportunity to produce from the moment he steps foot on the court for the Pelicans, and if he's able to live up to the hype -- and stay healthy -- Rookie of the Year will be far from the only award that he wins over the course of his career. -- Michael Kaskey-Blomain

Defensive Player of the Year

Why Joel Embiid will win the award: The Sixers' defensive numbers have long fallen off the map when Embiid goes off the floor. That might not be the case this season as Al Horford can fill some of those backup-five minutes, but Embiid's defensive value is obvious, on- or off-paper, and this year he'll get recognized as the most dominant defender on perhaps the best defensive team in the league. -- Brad Botkin

Why Giannis Antetokounmpo will win the award: Giannis does such ridiculous things on the offensive end that his work on the other side of the floor gets overshadowed at times, but he's one of the best defenders in the league. He can guard multiple positions, is more than capable on both the perimeter and at the rim and is always flying around in help coverage to clean up any mistakes his teammates make. This season, he'll finally get the recognition he deserves and claim his first Defensive Player of the Year trophy to go along with the MVP. -- Jack Maloney

Why Rudy Gobert will win the award: There are a few strong candidates in this category, but Gobert has won twice in a row now, and there's a reason the Utah Jazz were the best defensive team a season ago. It starts with Gobert, and on a nightly basis he puts in effort on the defensive end of the floor like no one else in the league. Voter fatigue may kick him out of the running for DPOY, but if he's truly the best option, you have to give it to him. -- Jasmyn Wimbish 

Sixth Man of the Year

Why Lou Williams win win the award: They're going to have to change this to the "Lou Williams Sixth Man of the Year Award" by the time this guy retires. He's won the honor the past two seasons, and it's hard to pick against him making it three in a row. He's one of the best scorers in the league, and is a lock to put up the big scoring numbers that are usually required to win this award. And this season, with the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, he'll have even more people paying attention to the impressive work he does off the bench. -- Jack Maloney

Most Improved Player

Why Lonzo Ball will win the award: Free of the pressure of a LeBron James team and the dysfunction of last year's Lakers -- say nothing of the corrosive combination of Los Angeles and his father's antics -- a healthy Lonzo ball will finally tap into his massive potential with the New Orleans Pelicans. Surrounded by an interesting combination of young talent and veterans, Ball has, finally, his breakout year. -- Bill Reiter

Coach of the Year

Why Quin Snyder will win the award: Snyder has been on the cusp of winning this award for the last two seasons, but this is the year it all comes together. He has the personnel required for the Jazz to have a strong, consistent season and vie for the top seed in the brutal Western Conference. Ironically, this year might not be his best coaching job of the past few seasons, but it's the one that will win him the award. -- Colin Ward-Henninger

Why Erik Spoelstra will win the award: One-year jumps are indeed the bedrock of Coach of the Year awards, and the Heat won just 39 games last season. This year that number could easily rise to near 50, most of which will be due to Jimmy Butler, but nonetheless Spoelstra gets as much out of his roster as any coach in the league and has for some time. If the Heat somehow secure the East's No. 3 seed, Spoelstra will be the runaway favorite for the award, but top four should be enough. -- Brad Botkin

Executive of the Year

Why Lawrence Frank will win the award: You could make a credible case that, given how much the Clippers gave up in the Paul George trade, and given that he and Kawhi Leonard can be free agents in the summer of 2021, Frank's front office has been given too much credit. You could also argue that the Clippers are more likely to be a juggernaut in the playoffs than they are in the regular season, so their flaws will be overanalyzed in the next few months, leading to a sense that management should have filled out the roster differently. I reject all of that. Los Angeles acquired two in-their-prime superstars at the same time, just a few years after dismantling its core, and it made several savvy moves on the margins, creating a title favorite out of thin air. If they're as good as I think they'll be, executives who pick anyone other than Frank will be seen as petty. -- James Herbert 

Why David Griffin will win the award: To come into a job where your franchise player wants nothing to do with your franchise and turn it into what Griffin has turned the Pelicans into is truly remarkable. Not only are the Pels set up to compete this season due to the players acquired in the Anthony Davis trade, but they're also set up for years in the future with seemingly unlimited promising draft picks. Griffin doesn't deserve credit for drafting Zion, but Nickeil Alexander-Walker is already looking like the steal of the draft at No. 17. Griffin took a situation with a surly superstar and turned it into one of the most exciting franchises in the league. -- Colin Ward-Henninger