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Top 5 most underrated early year MVP candidates

underrated mvps

Almost half of the regular season has passed, and right before the All-Star weekend in Atlanta, we have a good overview of where certain teams and players are in terms of their performance. The league's landscape and its best players changed a bit than in comparison to last season, and we have a few names that are already in the MVP discussions.

It seems there is a lot of incentive to promote certain candidates more than others. So far, among most NBA analysts, you could've heard names like LeBron James, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant, and even Anthony Davis before he got hurt. Rightfully so, these names are in the early MVP discussion, but our goal is to highlight and rate a few other MVP candidates that are underrated, at least at this point of the season.

According to Sports Betting Dime, the odds for those underrated MVP candidates are as follows: 

Nikola Jokic - 5/1

Nikola Jokic is a legitimate MVP candidate and has an astonishing season, almost averaging a triple-double with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game. Jokic is a point guard trapped in a big man's body, but he uses his size extremely well, for which his efficient speaks volume. Even though the Nuggets, in general, are not having the same type of season as they did last year, there is still more than enough time for them to catch up to the leading teams in the western conference. Luckily for them, they have Jokic to lead the way, which he most certainly did so far this season.

Stephen Curry - 12/1

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Curry is having a comeback season like no other. He is one of the leading scorers in the NBA, and after there were doubts about his return, no one is questioning Curry's dominance. Curry is posting 29.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 5. rebounds per game, similar to the one he had when he won his MVP award. The Warriors look like a solid team despite not having Klay Thompson this season and are most certainly a playoff team if Curry continues to play on the same level as he did so far.

Damian Lillard - 25/1

The Blazers are currently sitting on the fifth spot in the western conference despite struggling with several injured players this season. The main reason for them being in playoff contention is Damian Lillard and the monster numbers he is posting once again in his career. He's been their most consistent player this season, posting 30 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds per game, absolutely shooting the lights out every single game. 

Kawhi Leonard - 40/1

The Clippers are currently third in the western conference, and after having a disappointing season last year, they are looking for another opportunity to win the title. Kawhi is once again the undisputed leader of this squad, having one of the best seasons in his career. Kawhi is averaging almost 27 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds per game to go along with his efficient shooting. Kawhi is one of the most dominant two-way players in the league, and the only thing missing in his resume is a regular-season MVP award.

Donovan Mitchell - 66/1

The Utah Jazz is currently the best team in the NBA, playing remarkable team basketball in which everyone is equally involved. However, Donovan Mitchell is their go-to-guy who is slowly but surely establishing himself as one of the NBA's best guards. Mitchell is having a career year averaging 24.5 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds per game, showcasing incredible talent and maturity for such a young player. 

It will be interesting to see if the MVP rankings change in favor of some of the players on this list. There is still plenty of time left in the season for their teams to improve their regular-season standings, which is one reason players are selected as MVPs. All of the players on this list are posting impressive individual numbers. Still, they need to transcend that impact on their teams' success, which will land them an opportunity to be a legitimate MVP candidate. 

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant explains why he made the trade request — “It was a lot of uncertainty around our team last year”

Kevin Durant had a very interesting offseason, and he decided to open up on his decision to request a trade off of the Brooklyn Nets.

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Irving said that his decision to remain unvaccinated from COVID-19, which prevented him from playing for the Brooklyn Nets, cost him a new contract this offseason

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic

“I don’t want to disappoint him" - Nikola Jokic credits the person behind his life-changing weight loss

Nikola Jokic has entrusted his career and life to the Nuggets' strength and conditioning coach. And he didn't make a mistake.

Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller

“I knew immediately” — Reggie Miller on scoring 8 points in 8.9 seconds against the New York Knicks

Reggie Miller gave Knicks forward Anthony Mason some props for delivering the best chest pass he's ever seen.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green

“I don't think it will happen” — Draymond Green on getting a contract extension with the Golden State Warriors

Draymond said he won't let his contract situation get in the way of defending the title. Let's see if he feels the same way when Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins get an extension.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

“He was crying, bro” — Chauncey Billups revealed why Kobe Bryant was crying after making it to the 2009 NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant was so determined to win a championship without Shaquille O'Neal to the point that his emotions oftentimes consumed him.

Los Angeles Dodgers partner Magic Johnson and wife Cookie Johnson

“I bribed her. I gave her a million dollars” — Cookie Johnson's condition to allow Magic Johnson to return in 1995

The money was just a cherry on the top. Cookie gave Magic a clear ultimatum, or else she would've divorced him.

Shaquille O'Neal and Vince Carter

“I felt like it was close“ — Vince Carter revealed that he was close to teaming up with Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal's unwillingness to play in Canada was a harsh truth pill to swallow for Vince Carter, whose career would've probably been different if he had teamed up with O'Neal.