2021 NBA MVP Regular Season - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

NBA MVP Predictions

  • Get the most recent 2021 NBA Regular Season MVP odds!
  • Check out our predictions for who will win the 2021 NBA Most Valuable Player Award!
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2021 NBA Most Valuable Player Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, updated on May 12, 2021.

Player Odds
Nikola Jokic -2000
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Joel Embiid +1300
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Giannis Antetokounmpo +4000
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Damian Lillard +8000
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LeBron James +10000
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Luka Doncic +8000
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Kawhi Leonard +25000
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Donovan Mitchell +25000
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Jayson Tatum +25000
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Kyrie Irving +50000
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For the past two years, the NBA regular season MVP has been named at the annual NBA Awards award show. Presented by the NBA in partnership with Turner Sports, the NBA Awards were held in late-June after the NBA Playoffs. Since the 1980-1981 NBA Season, a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from across the United States and Canada has decided the NBA MVP Award winner.

The winner of the 2021 NBA MVP Award will be the 65th winner in history. The award is expected to be given upon the conclusion of the NBA regular season. Considering seeding is more or less in place and there will only be eight regular-season games before the playoffs, oddsmakers have a good idea of who the winner will be.

We’ll be going over the top NBA MVP odds and predictions. It isn’t just about individual accomplishment for a player to be named MVP. Team success, the ability to improve teammates and overall star-like qualities will always help someone’s case.

First, let’s answer some of the most important questions about the NBA MVP Award.

Who is the Favorite to Win the NBA MVP in 2021?

(G) Luka Doncic – 6-7, 230lbs (201cm, 104kg) – Slovenia

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 DAL 21 8 34.0 26.6 9.1 8.3 1.1 0.6 .451 .228


While he is barely edging out Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic has the highest odds to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2021. While the young guard has much to accomplish, his brilliance in the 2020 NBA regular season and playoffs showed that he has all the talent needed to take home the award.

Through the opening of the 2021 NBA season, Doncic is averaging 26.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game on 45.1% shooting from the field and 22.8% from three. While his shooting can be improved, he is certainly the focal point of the Dallas Mavericks’ offense.

What will likely be Doncic’s largest obstacle in pursuit of the MVP trophy is the performance of his team. While Doncic is a brilliant player in his own right, the stacked Western Conference could see the Mavericks place anywhere from first to seventh, even with a 50-plus win record.

Who Was the 2020 NBA MVP?


Giannis Antetokounmpo is won his second consecutive NBA MVP Award, as he was also the recipient of the honor for the 2020 season.

Antetokounmpo led his team to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, before falling to the Miami Heat in six games.

The Milwaukee Bucks forward was the winner by a landslide in 2020. Antetokounmpo accumulated 85 first-place votes and 16-second place votes. His voting total brought him to 962 total points, with the runner-up, LeBron James only accumulating 753.

NBA MVP by Year

Here is a list of the NBA MVP by year:

Year Player Nationality Team
2020 Giannis Antetokounmpo Greece Milwaukee Bucks
2019 Giannis Antetokounmpo Greece Milwaukee Bucks
2018 James Harden United States Houston Rockets
2017 Russell Westbrook United States Oklahoma City Thunder
2016 Stephen Curry (2) United States Golden State Warriors
2015 Stephen Curry United States Golden State Warriors
2014 Kevin Durant United States Oklahoma City Thunder
2013 LeBron James (4) United States Miami Heat
2012 LeBron James (3) United States Miami Heat
2011 Derrick Rose United States Chicago Bulls
2010 LeBron James (2) United States Cleveland Cavaliers
2009 LeBron James United States Cleveland Cavaliers
2008 Kobe Bryant United States Los Angeles Lakers
2007 Dirk Nowitzki Germany Dallas Mavericks
2006 Steve Nash Canada Phoenix Suns
2005 Steve Nash Canada Phoenix Suns
2004 Kevin Garnett United States Minnesota Timberwolves
2003 Tim Duncan United States San Antonio Spurs
2002 Tim Duncan United States San Antonio Spurs
2001 Allen Iverson United States Philadelphia 76ers
2000 Shaquille O’Neal United States Los Angeles Lakers
1999 Karl Malone (2) United States Utah Jazz
1998 Michael Jordan (5) United States Chicago Bulls
1997 Karl Malone United States Utah Jazz
1996 Michael Jordan (4) United States Chicago Bulls
1995 David Robinson United States San Antonio Spurs
1994 Hakeem Olajuwon Nigeria Houston Rockets
1993 Charles Barkley United States Phoenix Suns
1992 Michael Jordan (3) United States Chicago Bulls
1991 Michael Jordan (2) United States Chicago Bulls
1990 Magic Johnson (3) United States Los Angeles Lakers
1989 Magic Johnson (2) United States Los Angeles Lakers
1988 Michael Jordan United States Chicago Bulls
1987 Magic Johnson United States Los Angeles Lakers
1986 Larry Bird (3) United States Boston Celtics
1985 Larry Bird (2) United States Boston Celtics
1984 Larry Bird United States Boston Celtics
1983 Moses Malone (3) United States Philadelphia 76ers
1982 Moses Malone (2) United States Houston Rockets
1981 Julius Erving United States Philadelphia 76ers
1980 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6) United States Los Angeles Lakers
1979 Moses Malone United States Houston Rockets
1978 Bill Walton United States Portland Trail Blazers
1977 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5) United States Los Angeles Lakers
1976 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4) United States Los Angeles Lakers
1975 Bob McAdoo United States Buffalo Braves
1974 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (3) United States Milwaukee Bucks
1973 Dave Cowens United States Boston Celtics
1972 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2) United States Milwaukee Bucks
1971 Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) United States Milwaukee Bucks
1970 Willis Reed United States New York Knicks
1969 Wes Unseld United States Baltimore Bullets
1968 Wilt Chamberlain (4) United States Philadelphia 76ers
1967 Wilt Chamberlain (3) United States Philadelphia 76ers
1966 Wilt Chamberlain (2) United States Philadelphia 76ers
1965 Bill Russell (5) United States Boston Celtics
1964 Oscar Robertson United States Cincinnati Royals
1963 Bill Russell (4) United States Boston Celtics
1962 Bill Russell (3) United States Boston Celtics
1961 Bill Russell (2) United States Boston Celtics
1960 Wilt Chamberlain United States Philadelphia Warriors
1959 Bob Pettit (2) United States St. Louis Hawks
1958 Bill Russell United States Boston Celtics
1957 Bob Cousy United States Boston Celtics
1956 Bob Pettit United States St. Louis Hawks

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Does the NBA MVP Receive A Prize?

The winner of the NBA MVP Award doesn’t receive a prize per se. They are awarded the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, but in terms of cash incentives or bonuses, there are none.

It is written in many players’ team contracts that they receive a bonus upon receiving the award, but that is subject to the terms of the team agreement and not the NBA organization.

In a less direct sense, the NBA MVP in the current climate would be awarded much more exposure, the opportunity for endorsements, and nationally broadcasted matches for his team. The truest prize for the NBA MVP Award winner is the fact that their name is written in history as one of the greatest to ever play the game.

Is the NBA MVP Determined by Fan Vote?

No, fans of the NBA do not have a say in who will be awarded the NBA MVP. Unlike All-Star voting, the NBA MVP Award is voted upon by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters across the United States and Canada.

Fan votes are reserved for the NBA All-Star Game, where they make up 50% of the total. Votes by current NBA players and a panel of media members account for 25% each.

The voting process for the NBA MVP Award is as follows. Media members are allowed to award a player of their choice a “vote” ranked from first-place, worth ten-points, to fifth-place, worth one point. The player with the highest points total wins the award.

Has There Ever Been a Unanimous MVP?

In 2015-2016, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. It was the first time in history that a player was unanimously voted the NBA MVP. A unanimous vote means that among the voting parties, Curry received all available votes.

Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 and LeBron James in 2013 fell one vote short of a unanimous MVP selection.

When Will the NBA MVP Award Winner be Announced?

In 2019, the NBA MVP Award was announced during the NBA Awards show on June 24. Due to the suspended season and social distancing protocols, the award has gone unclaimed for longer than ever before.

There is no set date for when the award winners will be announced. However, with the NBA schedule now in place fans can expect to see the MVP named soon after the scheduled date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals (if necessary) – Tuesday, October 13.

Who Won the First NBA MVP Award?

The first-ever winner of the NBA MVP was forward-center Bob Pettit in 1956, who played for the now-defunct St. Louis Hawks.

Pettit, an LSU alumnus and the second overall pick in the 1954 NBA Draft, won the NBA MVP Award in just his second season in the NBA. He proceeded to win the award again in 1958, when he led the St. Louis Hawks to the NBA Championship.

Bob Pettit was the original interior presence in the NBA. Pettit’s career stats are up there with the best of all-time. His career averages of 26.4 points, 16.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 43.6% shooting from the field justify his hall of fame place.

Which Position Wins the Most MVP Awards?

Position in the NBA has a fluid definition over the course of NBA history. As times have changed, styles have changed. As such certain players were highlighted in eras where they wouldn’t have been in others. The positional success of players in relation to the MVP award greatly represents this.

Point Guard (6)

Winners: Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Steve Nash, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook

The point guard position is tied for second as the most successful NBA position at winning the MVP Award. Defined by their ability to distribute the ball, point guards are largely responsible for the success of their team. Generally talented in accumulating assists, players like Steve Nash, Bob Cousy, and Magic Johnson wowed fans and critics with their ability to lift the play of their teammates.

Newer stars like Stephen Curry and Derrick Rose added to the primary playmaking responsibilities of the point guard by becoming elite scorers. Their ability to distribute as well as score at will drove the success of their squads and garnered them votes.

In a league of their own, Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook are the only two players to average a triple-double in a season – separated by 53 years. The two were terrors across the court, dangerous from every position and transcendent to the game of basketball.

Shooting Guard (3)

Winners: Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, James Harden

The least successful position at winning the NBA MVP, shooting guards that have won the honor have been defined by their positional namesake. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are two of the league’s best-ever scorers and the success of their teams was built around them.

While Allen Iverson failed to win an NBA Championship, the diminutive guard’s ability to score was transcendent for a player of his size. James Harden is also one of the league’s most creative scorers, breaking records set by his predecessors and ushering in a score-first mentality not seen since Bryant.

Small Forward (5)

Winners: Julius Irving, Larry Bird, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Small Forward position has been defined by the do-it-all nature of its players. Scoring, defending, playmaking, rebounding, these players could truly do it all.

There has been a rise in the use of small forwards in recent history, as skill level has increased greatly. Julius Irving and Larry Bird were excellent scorers in their own way and filled the stat sheet every night.

The entry of LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo into the fold defined an almost new position. Small forwards in body, but point guards in ability, these two dominate opponents on each end of the court. With little drawback to their game.

Don’t forget a player with the skill of Kevin Durant though. Durant may not be the playmaker, rebounder, or defender that these other winners are, but Durant shows that in the game of basketball scoring is still paramount. 6-11 with a monstrous wingspan and a feathery shooting touch, Durant is one of the best scorers of all time.

Power Forward (6)

Winners: Bob Pettit, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki

The power forward position is one that took a long time to see growth. Size matters in the NBA whether it is in terms of height or strength. Power forwards like Bob Pettit, Charles Barkley, and Karl Malone were excellent scorers in the low post. Barkley, being of smaller stature, showed off guard-like skills while Malone benefitted from fantastic interplay with his teammates.

Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are more famed for their defensive intensity. The two could not be more opposite in terms of their personality, but their contributions on the court are immense. The two NBA Champions’ ability on the defensive side defined their team’s success, on top of their ability to score.

Dirk Nowitzki was the first of his like in the NBA. A lank, seven-footer from Germany made his name on the perimeter rather than in the post. While criticised early in his career, Nowitzki’s uniqueness made him the most unguardable player in his prime.

Center (12)

Remember when we said size matters in the NBA? The center position epitomizes that. It is by far the most successful position in terms of winning the NBA MVP Award, doubling its closest competitor as of 2020.

An easy basket nearest to the rim is what coaches want and when you tout the sheer size, skill, and strength of Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Wilt Chamberlain, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar there are few if any that can stop them.

As the last defense for an NBA team, the center position is also saddled with responsibility should his teammates fail. Bill Russell, Wes Unseld, and Moses Malone showed that stopping a team from scoring or getting second chances was as valuable as scoring the ball.

Centers used to define the game of basketball, but the direction of the game has changed to the perimeter and its been seen in the NBA MVP winners list. Despite having the most winners by position, the last time a center won NBA MVP was 2000.

Has a Rookie Ever Won NBA MVP?

Yes! Two players have achieved the tremendous accomplishment of winning MVP as a rookie. Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors in 1960 and Wes Unseld of the Baltimore Bullets in 1969.

It speaks to the overall skill level of the NBA that the feat has yet to be accomplished again in over 50 years.

Who Is the Youngest/Oldest Ever NBA MVP?

The youngest player to win the NBA MVP award was Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls. At just 22 years old, the Chicagoan led his hometown Bulls to 62 wins and the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Averaging 25.0 points, 7.7 assists, and 6.3 offensive box plus/minus, Rose was near unstoppable at the top of his game. Unfortunately, Rose’s career stalled due to injuries and re-injury.

The oldest ever NBA MVP was Karl Malone, who won the award at 35 years old. The power forward is one of the best scorers to ever play the game, as he averaged 23.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists on 50.9% shooting from the field in his MVP season.

Surprisingly, Malone was not named an All-Star that year.

Who Has Won the Most NBA MVP Awards?

The winner of the most NBA MVP awards in history is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He won the award six times (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980) over the course of his career, to go along with a number of other incredible basketball accomplishments.

Not only did Abdul-Jabbar win five of nine available MVP Awards during the seventies, he is also a six-time NBA Champion. Surprisingly, Abdul-Jabbar won the most valuable player award only twice when the year coincided with him winning an NBA Championship.

Which NBA Franchises Have Won the Most NBA Mvps?

Number of Awards Team Years
10 Boston Celtics 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962,

1963, 1965, 1973, 1984,

1985, 1986

8 Los Angeles Lakers 1976, 1977, 1980, 1987,

1989, 1990, 2000, 2008

6 Philadelphia 76ers 1966, 1967, 1968, 1981,

1983, 2001

Chicago Bulls 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996,

1998, 2011

5 Milwaukee Bucks  

1971, 1972, 1974, 2019, 2020

4 Houston Rockets 1979, 1982, 1994, 2018
3 San Antonio Spurs 1995, 2002, 2003
Phoenix Suns 1993, 2005, 2006
Golden State/Philadelphia Warriors 1960, 2015, 2016
2 St. Louis Hawks 1956, 1959
Utah Jazz 1997, 1999
Cleveland Cavaliers 2009, 2010
Miami Heat 2012, 2013
Oklahoma City Thunder 2014, 2017
1 Cincinnati Royals 1964
Baltimore Bullets 1969
New York Knicks 1970
Buffalo Braves 1975
Portland Trail Blazers 1978
Minnesota Timberwolves 2004
Dallas Mavericks 2007

Which NBA Franchises Have Never Won an MVP Award?

There are nine different NBA franchises that have failed to produce an NBA MVP winner.

  1. Brooklyn Nets
  2. Charlotte Hornets
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Detroit Pistons
  5. Indiana Pacers
  6. Memphis Grizzlies
  7. New Orleans Pelicans
  8. Orlando Magic
  9. Toronto Raptors

When we take a look at the upcoming 2021 NBA Awards season, it looks like these teams will remain without an MVP winner.

2021 NBA MVP Winner Predictions

Now let’s get into it. The MVP Race is interesting this season, as there are a number of new candidates and returning candidates that have had excellent seasons this year. We’ll give you a run down on how best to judge the field.

Of course, with the NBA season seeing its own struggles with health and safety protocol postponing games and leaving players out, the 2021 MVP Award is unpredictable. One injury or positive COVID-19 test could take a player or a team out of the running entirely.

The Contenders

1) (G) Luka Doncic – 6-7, 230 lbs (201 cm, 104 kg) – Dallas Mavericks

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 DAL 21 8 34.0 26.6 9.1 8.3 1.1 0.6 .451 .228

Analysis:

Luka Doncic is the favorite to win the 2021 NBA Most Valuable Player Award and it is easy to see why. Not only has he been brilliant since joining the NBA, but he’s also been improving his game and his output exponentially with each season in the league. In 2019, Doncic was named the NBA Rookie of the Year after an incredible young career in Europe. The following year Doncic was named to his first All-Star team as a starter and received his first All-NBA selection.

Doncic fills the stat sheet in a way that you’d expect of a Most Valuable Player candidate. There are few holes to his game and he has a flair for the spectacular. His Dallas Mavericks are not the strongest team in the league or even his own conference, which props up his value in the eyes of the voting panel. Were Doncic to win the award, he would join Derrick Rose and Wes Unseld as the only players to win the award before turning 23. He’d be just the third MVP from Europe, joining Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki and Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.

2) (F) Giannis Anetetokounmpo – 6-11, 242 lbs (211 cm, 109 kg) – Milwaukee Bucks

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 MIL 26 10 31.0 26.6 10.1 5.1 1.2 1.0 .525 .286

Analysis:

What more can really be said about The Greek Freak? He entered the league as a high-ceiling project and built himself into the adonis known to NBA fans today. Receiving comparisons to the great Shaquille O’Neal, Antetokounmpo is the most intimidating physical force the league has seen since. The now two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Award winner is looking to receive his third, further cementing his place among the greats to ever play the game.

Antetokounmpo continues to be the dominating force that he has been for a number of years now and he still carries the Bucks as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Where Giannis may fail is purely due to the fact that the Milwaukee front office has eased his burden, bringing in players that can better support him. Due to that, his stats across the board are down, but they certainly shouldn’t suggest regression in his contributions or value.

3) (G-F) LeBron James – 6-9, 250 lbs (206 cm, 113 kg) – Los Angeles Lakers

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 LAL 36 12 32.3 24.2 8.3 7.5 0.8 0.4 .486 .360

Analysis:

Certainly, one of the greatest to ever grace the world of professional basketball, LeBron James is apparently entering the twilight of his career – not that his statistics suggest such. Already a four-time MVP, four-time Finals MVP, four-time NBA Champion, 2004 Rookie of the Year, and 16-time All-Star, LeBron James has nothing to prove to us, but more to himself. James is clearly chasing history, aiming to be the best to ever play the game. Another MVP Award could be what it takes.

In his seventeenth year in the league, James continues to astonish fans and players with his capabilities. While he’s taken a step back in terms of scoring, James’ playmaking has hit new highs. A consistent triple-double threat and perennial playoff contender, James’ name in the MVP picture is commonplace. The Lakers’ success will always be a factor but the quality of his team almost ensures they’ll have a top-three finish. His aid being the only detractor from his consideration for the award.

Just Not Enough

4) (F) Kevin Durant – 6-10, 240 lbs (208 cm, 108 kg) – Brooklyn Nets

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 BKN 32 8 34.8 29.9 7.8 5.8 0.9 0.8 .535 .447

Analysis:

Not many players can return from a season-ending injury and be in the running for the Most Valuable Player award, but that is a testament to the quality of 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant. While the Brooklyn Net’s have gotten off to a shaky start, Durant has been a mainstay through their success. Through some early-season shake-ups, the Nets could be in for their most successful season yet.

Durant is currently leading the Brooklyn Nets in scoring, all while being the Nets’ number one option with Kyrie Irving’s unpredictable day-to-day status. The acquisition of James Harden may ultimately be Durant’s reason for not winning the award. With production duties spread across three ball-dominant superstars, Durant’s position as even the most valuable player on his team is up for debate.

5) (G) Stephen Curry – 6-3, 185 lbs (190 cm, 83 kg) – Golden State Warriors

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 GSW 32 11 34.3 27.8 5.1 6.4 1.2 0.2 .430 .369

Analysis:

Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Award winner Stephen Curry is no stranger to doubters. While his Warriors don’t project to be one of the stronger teams in the West, Curry has already proven his value through 11 games after returning from an injury that saw him play in just five games in the 2019-2020 season. Curry is already on a fantastic track to be in consideration for the MVP award, partially due to Klay Thompson being unavailable for the 2020-2021 NBA season.

Stephen Curry’s production likely won’t be a factor against him in the MVP race. Without Thompson available for the Warriors, Curry has become the top option for the Warriors on offence once again. His scoring rate is on track to match his last five years in the league, where he won his first two MVP awards. However, due to the relative weakness and the projected lack of success for Golden State, it is unlikely he’ll win the award.

6) (C) Joel Embiid – 7-0, 280 lbs (213 cm, 127 kg) – Philadelphia 76ers

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 PHI 26 10 32.0 26.6 12.1 3.1 1.4 1.6 .544 .387

Analysis:

Joel Embiid has done his most to make up for missing his first two seasons in the NBA and now figures to be one of the dark horses to win the 2021 NBA Most Valuable Player Award. The Cameroon international is one of the few dominant big men left in the league, and he does more than show off his ability in every game he plays. With better options surrounding him, Embiid’s burden is lessened, but his production is just as impressive.

The Sixers have gotten off to a fantastic start this season, owing to their renewed game plan and improved team balance. For the Embiid to win the MVP Award, he must be the leader of the Sixers while getting them to the top of the Conference. A task he’s capable of, but the top of the East is the main concern.

Long Shots

7) (F) Anthony Davis – 6-10, 253 lbs (208 cm, 114 kg) – Los Angeles Lakers

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 LAL 27 10 32.5 22.5 8.7 3.1 1.2 1.9 .563 .406

Analysis:

The Los Angeles Lakers are a brilliant team, on both ends of the court. At times you could even say that Anthony Davis is leading the team when they are on the court, but does that put Davis in the running for the 2021 MVP Award? Sure, Davis is talented and productive however Davis’ biggest obstacle is on his own team. LeBron James is the leader of the Lakers and drives their success. No matter how well Davis plays, he will always be LeBron James’ sidekick.

8) (C) Nikola Jokic – 7-0, 284 lbs (213 cm, 128 kg) – Denver Nuggets

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 DEN 25 11 35.0 24.3 10.9 10.5 1.8 0.5 .576 .412

Analysis:

The Joker is one of the most unique players in the NBA. At 7-0 tall, Nikola Jokic maintains a skillset unique amongst frontcourt and backcourt players. While his Denver Nuggets aren’t the strongest team in the West, he is the engine that makes his team go. The main reason we see the odds going against Jokic is Denver’s ranking in the West, as well as their team’s propensity for team play. Jokic isn’t dominant within the league in one statistical category, so he is difficult to vote for by the panel. That doesn’t mean he’s unworthy, just underrated.

9) (G) Damian Lillard – 6-2, 195 lbs (188 cm, 88 kg) – Portland Trail Blazers

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
2020-2021 POR 30 10 35.1 26.1 4.9 6.4 0.8 0.3 .438 .374

Analysis:

The Portland Trail Blazers are a much-improved team, especially amongst the Western Conference. Their leader Damian Lillard’s production is down, but that’s a good thing considering they’re working better as a unit. Lillard’s chances for the award are higher than many expect due to his value to the Trail Blazers as an individual, but his rather one-dimensional play is what hinders him most. Without scoring, Lillard contributes little to the Blazers’ success – luckily, he scores in bunches.

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Christian Jope

Expert on NBA

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.



Email: [email protected]