Cotton wins second NBL MVP, LaMelo Ball wins rookie of the year

Perth Wildcats star Bryce Cotton is again the toast of the NBL after claiming his second straight Andrew Gaze MVP award.

Cotton polled 88 votes to beat out fellow import point guard Scotty Machado from Cairns on 80 votes, with Brisbane Bullets import Lamar Patterson third on 73 votes.

Perth Wildcats star Bryce Cotton has been named as the NBL’s 2019-20 MVP. Credit:Getty Images

Cotton is in his fourth NBL season, and previously won the MVP award in 2017-18. He was awarded the honour in Melbourne on Sunday night.

The Perth guard led the NBL in scoring with 22.48 points per game, and also led the league in steals with 1.74 per game.

Cotton also made the All-NBL first team joined by Machado, Patterson, Nick Kay (Perth) and Jae'Sean Tate (Sydney Kings).

Last season's MVP Andrew Bogut (Sydney) headlined the All-NBL second team joining Cam Oliver (Cairns), Scotty Hopson (New Zealand), DJ Newbill (Cairns) and Casper Ware (Sydney).

Cairns coach Mike Kelly was awarded the Lindsay Gaze coach of the year after taking the Taipans from bottom of the ladder last year to making the finals, where they will face Cotton's Perth side.

Kelly finished well ahead of Sydney coach Will Weaver and Perth coach Trevor Gleeson.

Brisbane emerging star and potential NBA signing Will Magnay was named most improved player in a very deep field after rising from the end of the Brisbane bench to becoming one of the league's best big men.

Magnay polled 53 votes to South East Melbourne centre Dane Pineau's 49 votes.

The Taipans also had import Newbill score the defensive player of the year award, beating Magnay 46 votes to 42, with Bogut in third on 33 votes.

Likely NBA top-10 draft pick LaMelo Ball won the rookie of the year award after his stint with the Illawarra Hawks, beating out Cairns forward Kouat Noi 49 votes to 44. Fellow Next Stars signing RJ Hampton finished third on 23 votes.

Brisbane guard Jason Cadee won the sixth man of the year award for best bench player with 31 votes, ahead of Sydney big man Daniel Kickert with 28 and Magnay in third on 26 votes.

Machado was named fans' MVP, and Vaughan Mayberry was named referee of the year.

The NBL semi-finals begin on February 28 after the FIBA international break.

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