3 Minnesota Timberwolves named finalists for NBA end-of-season awards

Rudy Gobert #27 and head coach Chris Finch of the Minnesota Timberwolves react ah during the first half at the Smoothie King Center on December 11, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Getty Images)

Three Minnesota Timberwolves were named finalists for end-of-season awards, the NBA announced on Sunday.

Rudy Gobert is up for what could be his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award. Gobert has anchored the stout Minnesota defense this year, which finished the year with the NBA's best defensive rating.

Individually, Gobert averaged 2.1 blocks and 12.9 rebounds per game (second-best in the NBA) for the season. He also leads the league in defensive win shares -- an advanced stat that factors in a player's individual defensive performance and how it impacts the team's defense. For context, Gobert's 2024 defensive win shares rating of 5.8 is the second-best of his career. (Fun fact: Anthony Edwards finished third in the NBA in defensive win shares as well).

Gobert also had the best individual defensive rating in the NBA this season.

The Heat's Bam Adebayo and the Spurs' Victor Wembanyama are also finalists for the award. Wembanyama, a rookie, might be Gobert's biggest competition for the award. He finished second in defensive rating, fifth in defensive win shares, and led the league in blocks, averaging a whopping 3.6 per game.

Coach of the Year

Head coach Chris Finch was also named a finalist for Coach of the Year, along with Oklahoma City Thunder coach Mark Daigeneault and Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley.

Finch helped turn the Wolves into a championship contender this season, adding 14 wins over the previous season, despite losing Karl Anthony-Towns down the final stretch.

On the final day of the season, the Wolves had a chance to earn the top seed in the West but came up short.

Under Finch, the Wolves have had a remarkable turnaround over the past two and a half seasons. Finch holds a record of 143-117 as Wolves head coach. In the two-and-a-half seasons before he took over, the Wolves were 62-115.

Sixth Man of the Year

Naz Reid was also named a finalist for Sixth Man of the Year. He faces Milwaukee's Bobby Portis Jr. and  Sacramento's Malik Monk for that award.

Reid averaged 13.5 points and 5.2 rebounds, shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 41 percent from three. But, Reid's impact came on both ends of the floor this year. He finished third in defensive rating.

Portis was third last year for the Sixth Man trophy. He is averaging 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

Monk finished fifth last year for Sixth Man of the Year. This season, he is averaging 15.4 points per game and 5.1 assists on a Kings team that missed the playoffs.