Who are the NBA players who could win the MVP Award in 2021-22? With the new NBA regular season only weeks away, focus on the league's top teams and players is heating up.
Nikola Jokic is the most recent winner, with the Serbian center having been crowned the league's best player last time around, but the NBA is filled with world-class basketball players with the skill and drive to add an MVP award to their résumé. Here are the top five candidates to win it next season which you can get on at these top bookmakers!
1. Luka Doncic
As he enters his fourth NBA season, the 22-year-old Slovenian already has two All-NBA First team selections and two All-Star appearances under his belt.
Doncic led his team to the playoffs in the last two seasons and has shown that he is a born winner who can carry his team, despite the Mavericks falling to the Los Angeles Clippers in back-to-back seasons.
This summer he signed a landmark five-year, $207 million supermax rookie extension with the Dallas Mavericks - a jackpot agreement for Dallas that echoes the long-term deal they sealed with Dirk Nowitzki two decades ago.
Doncic is coming off an amazing Olympic tournament in which he scored 49 points in his debut against Argentina and led his team to fourth place.
He will also be helped this season by the presence of fellow Slovenian Goran Dragic, who signed with the Mavs.
Doncic will definitely be one of the most dominant players in the league next season and you can expect him to average something close to a triple-double every game, but his MVP chances are hurt by the quality of his team. The Mavs are not among the top contenders in the West and it is rare for a league MVP to come from a low-ranking team.
The Philadelphia 76ers center had an amazing season last year, and was among three finalists for the MVP award that eventually finished in Nikola Jokic’s hands.
Injuries were arguably the only reason Embiid missed out on the trophy, forcing him out of 21 games.
But when he played he was unstoppable, on both ends of the floor. Embiid averaged 28.5 points (4th in the NBA), 10.6 rebounds (12th in the NBA) and 1.4 blocks per game with 51.3% from the field and 37.7% from the three-point line.
There is no other player like him in the league and he is often compared to one of the best centers in history, Hakeem Olajuwon.
Physically dominant in the paint, Embiid can also shoot mid-range jumpers as well as three-pointers. And he's scary to both centers and guards on the defensive end of the court.
If he stays healthy he will definitely put up similar numbers to last year, but that's a big if. With Embiid's injury history, Doc Rivers will also need to manage his minutes.
Sportsbooks currently rank Embiid second in the MVP race with +700 odds.
The 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player is given +700 odds to win it again - and he enters this season with a point to prove.
Last season Kevin Durant came back after a year-long absence due to an Achilles injury. His Brooklyn Nets were the league favorites to win the NBA championship, but injuries to Kyrie Irving and James Harden took their toll and Durant just could not carry the Nets past the championship Bucks on his own.
KD is the best offensive player in the league and can score at will from any spot on the floor. He is taller than other forwards and quicker than other players his height: twin advantages that make him lethal.
Last season he averaged 26.9 points. 7.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists. If he manages to repeat those numbers and his Nets end up at the top of the league standings as expected, KD will be a very strong contender for MVP.
And at +700 odds, KD is probably the best pick you can choose before the season starts if you're looking for bang for your buck.
His performance in last year’s playoffs turned Giannis Antetokounmpo into a real legend of the game, as he took his Milwaukee Bucks to their first championship trophy in 50 years.
The ‘Greek Freak’ won back-to-back MVP awards in 2019 and 2020 and is given +800 odds to win another one this upcoming season.
In 2020 he also won the Defensive Player of the Year award, becoming only the third player in NBA history to win both MVP and DPOY awards in the same year.
The 26-year-old athletic freak is an absolute beast on both ends of the floor and another double-double season is guaranteed for him.
The Bucks didn’t make major roster changes and if everyone is healthy they will be among the top contenders in the East.
Steph Curry signed a $215 million extension with the Golden State Warriors this offseason, becoming the first player to sign two contracts over the $200 million mark.
The 33-year-old won the MVP award in 2015 and 2016 finished last season among the three finalists for the award. Sportsbooks give him +900 odds to win the award next season.
With Klay Thompson finally back, the Warriors will again be dangerous and have a chance to fight for the championship.
Curry is still the best shooter in the game, able to hit from distance on any given night. The Warriors have surrounded him with quality young players as well as veterans. If his supporting cast rise to the occasion, Curry will undoubtedly shine and be a strong contender for league MVP.