It’s only a few days from the culmination of the NBA Finals, but oddsmakers already see Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid as early favorites to win the MVP award next season.
Offseason move could help Doncic
The Dallas Mavericks traded for center Christian Wood in one of the earliest roster tweaks this offseason. The Mavs gave up fringe players and addressed one of the most critical team needs: a reliable big man. With Wood in the lineup, experts see more options for Luka to create havoc against opposing teams. And with this, it pushed Doncic’s chances of potentially winning the MVP plum next year with a better supporting cast around him.
Per NBA.com, the Slovenian wunderkind and Joel Embiid both got +550 odds of winning the MVP. Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was third with +1200 while reigning MVP Nikola Jokic was listed at +1300. The disrespect for The Joker was evident, but once the Denver Nuggets get their players in full health next season, Jokic won’t have to exert as much effort or put up MVP numbers every night because he will have all the help the team needs.
Last summer, Jokic, Embiid, and Antetokounmpo were top 3 in MVP voting, with Doncic and Devin Booker completing the top five. It was a close fight between The Process and The Joker, but in the end, the Serbian giant took home the trophy.
The Steph Curry slander continues
Steph Curry struggled in some parts of the season but managed to enter the MVP discussion at some point and ended up winning his 4th title and first finals MVP in his career. But the bettors only see him as +1300 to win the upcoming regular season MVP. Jayson Tatum, Ja Morant, Kawhi Leonard, Trae Young, and Jimmy Butler were other notable names on the list.
Interestingly, some believe that LeBron James (+2800) has a higher chance of winning his 5th MVP award next year than Young (+4100) and Butler (+6000). The King will be 38 next season, so it’s interesting to see if his health and focus remain the same after all the basketball mileage in his body.
Will this recent slight add fuel to Curry’s mission to go back-to-back next year? At this point, the Golden State Warriors have figured out how to balance contending while building for the future. Chef Curry doesn’t even have to put up MVP numbers anymore; he just needs to be there when the team needs him to be Chef Curry. And that’s what makes Golden State even scarier next year.