Every NBA season there are always players to keep your eye on because they just might make history and show the NBA something it has never seen before.
In 2003, LeBron James burst onto the scene, since then has shown the NBA a new type of player. He has become a somewhat of a hybrid between Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson paving the way as the ultimate playmaker.
Coming into the 2008-2009 NBA season there are already tons of story lines and plenty of players on the verge of becoming the next superstars in this league.
Here is a list of players to keep your eye on this season who might be the front runners for the NBA awards:
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
A bit bias, but with the Lakers finally at full strength this season Kobe will be the best player on the best team in the NBA this season. With a healthy Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the paint and quite possibly the most talented bench in the NBA, the Lakers should be the team to beat.
Runner-Ups: LeBron James, Cavs; Chris Paul, Hornets
Rookie of the Year
Greg Oden, Portland Trailblazers
This will be the closest race for the ROY in recent memory with plenty of players with a legitimate shot of winning this award. Even though he may not be eligible for this award, it should go to Oden. I may be getting ahead of myself here, but I think Oden could be the next Shaq. He is as talented as big men come. Dominant on the defensive side of the basketball and showcasing some impressing post moves in the paint on offense. He will be the core of a very talented Blazers team which will be one of the best teams in the West in the years to come.
Runner-Ups: Rudy Fernandez, Blazers; Michael Beasly, Heat; OJ Mayo, Grizzles; Derrick Rose, Bulls
Defensive Player of the Year
Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
As long as KG has his Celtics playing dominant defense as they did last season, there will be no other player in the league taking this award from the Big Ticket for years to come. Although I think KG will win this award for the second season in a row, there are a few players to keep an eye on at the defensive end.
Runner-Ups: Josh Smith, Hawks; Ron Artest, Rockets; Marcus Camby, Clippers
Most Improved Player of the Year
Devin Harris, New Jersey Nets
Even though some thought that the Jason Kidd trade would hurt Harris' future, it may do the complete opposite as he has a chance to make a name for himself alongside Vince Carter in New Jersey. Now that Richard Jefferson has been shipped to Milwaukee, Harris will have to put up some points as well as be the team's playmaker.
Runner-Ups: Jermaine O'Neal, Raptors; Rajon Rondo, Celtics
Coach of the Year
Nate McMillan, Portland Trailblazers
As coach of arguably one of the most talented young team in the NBA, McMillan will have a lot of up and coming players to work with including Brandon Roy, Rudy Fernandez and Greg Oden just to name a few. If McMillan can manage to make it into the playoffs in an extremely competitive Western Conference then he will almost be guaranteed to win the award.
Runner-Ups: Jerry Sloan, Jazz; Rick Adelman, Rockets; Erik Spoelstra, Heat
Sixth Man of the Year
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs
They might as well change the name of this award to the Ginobili award as every season Manu continues to show that he is by far the best player to come off the bench in the NBA. The only problem with Manu winning another Sixth Man award is that he will be out until December after his surgery and missing that time might give the edge to other players this season.
Runner-Ups: Leandro Barbosa, Suns; Lamar Odom, Lakers; Ben Gordon, Bulls