With the NBA season rapidly approaching, everyone is making their picks for what is going to happen. However, with the Warrior’s chances at winning so high, there is not a lot to predict with who is going to win the championship. There is, however, one thing that could go any number of ways. This season, there are plenty of number of candidates who could wind up taking home the MVP trophy, and going into the new year, it is hard to decide which of them actually has the best chance.
It makes sense to start this conversation with the player who has more MVP’s than any other active player. With the move to the West, he is going to get more attention than any other player in the NBA. If he plays well, which he will, the added headlines could definitely help his case. If the Lakers disappoint, though, his chances would be slim to none. Plus he carried a team to the Finals last year completely by himself and still didn’t win his fifth. It seems like the voters may be done with Lebron, so his odds aren’t as high as they probably should be.
Kevin Durant/Steph Curry:
These two are grouped together because their odds, and their problems, are all basically the same. Even though these are two of the best players in the league, and of all time, they still probably will not win another. Both put up big numbers on their own teams, which is why they collectively have three, but with each taking up so much time with the ball, it seems unlikely that they’ll manage to win another. It isn’t impossible, especially if one gets hurt, but they certainly aren’t at the top of the list right now.
Last year’s winner has as good a chance of any at making it a repeat. His scoring will only go up after Houston lost some of their key contributors, and he is at an age where he may still be able to improve his game. If he can put up similar scoring numbers with improved defensive and passing, he could definitely win another.
This is another player who might deserve it without winning it. Two years ago, when he was busy becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to finish a season averaging a triple-double, he got tons of attention en route to winning an MVP. Last year he did the exact same thing, minus the MVP. Averaging big numbers is all he can offer, as he has yet to lead a team to any real success on his own, so it seems unlikely that a third season of triple-double numbers would be enough. He’s on the list, but barely.
Like Lebron, he is going to get a lot of headlines in his new city. If he leads Toronto to top one-spot in the East with big numbers, he could easily be the one who goes home with the trophy. He has the talent to do it, but who knows if he can stay focused enough to put it all together for a full season like he did a few years ago. If he can, though, don’t be surprised if he finishes with his first MVP.
The Greek Freak broke out in a big way last year. He put up monster numbers all year on a team that was mismanaged and not especially talented outside of him. Still, he carried them to the play-offs and put himself in the MVP race in the process. If he can improve yet again, especially wit a better team and better coach around him, it would not be at all surprising to see him take his first MVP.
Anthony Davis is an absolute monster. There really isn’t another way to describe it. Nobody can play as well inside on either side of the court as he can. Add in a jump shot and you have yourself a franchise player. He is the most versatile big in the league, and he has more than enough talent to bring New Orleans an MVP.
While those are the biggest names, there are plenty of others with decent chances as well. If Klay Thompson gets super aggressive, he could put up the scoring numbers to get it, although it would probably take multiple injuries on the Warriors for that to happen. If Damian Lillard has a career year, his scoring output could easily land him atop the list. Chris Paul might be able to do what Harden did last year to win the trophy. Nikola Jokic has a very, very, very outside chance of putting up the triple-double stats Westbrook did a few years ago. Kyrie or Gordon Hayward might dominate the East enough to win. There are still more, but these pretty much fill out the short-list for pre-season predictions.