Kevin Durant and Luka Doncic are the betting favorites to win the NBA MVP award this coming season, and NBA GMs are predicting Durant to take the trophy as well, but predicting this wide-open field is next to impossible. There are a lot of worthy candidates who could step up and grab the award.
In the latest story in our NBA preview series, Dan Feldman and I make our predictions for MVP this season.
Kurt Helin: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
MVP is a wide-open race this season. For my money, Kevin Durant is the best player on the planet right now, but will James Harden siphon off too many votes for KD to win? LeBron James will be in the mix (but can he win at age 37?), as will former winners Nikola Jokcic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Stephen Curry.
I’ll go with Luka Doncic for two reasons. One is that the 22-year-old just gets better and better each season, and this year appears to have shown up to camp in the best condition of his career. The other is the Mavericks did not get a quality secondary ball handler this offseason, meaning the load Doncic has to carry remains massive. He can handle it though, and will put up MVP numbers.
My long-shot candidate to jump up and win the award? Anthony Davis. If he stays healthy and plays 70+ games this season, he could be a force in this race.
Dan Feldman: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid might have won MVP last year if he stayed healthy. With Ben Simmons‘ trade demand, too many people have written off the 76ers — giving Embiid an opportunity to exceed expectations, always important to voters. Simmons’ absence could even give Embiid more space to operate and put up big numbers, though Simmons’ ability to push in transition will be missed.