The NBA is filled with superstars as far as the eye can see, but only one will be crowned the league’s Most Valuable Player.
BetDeluxe looks at some of the major candidates for this year’s MVP, with some value to be found.
Most Valuable Player
Luka Doncic – $5
After three All NBA first team selections, Doncic has been on the cusp of going to the next level, and this could be his year. A sluggish start last year possibly cost him, but a season spent in the gym seems to have him in prime shape as he approaches his fifth year in the league.
Doncic finished in the top five for points and assists per game last year, and at just 23 years of age, his best is ahead of him.
He has already signalled his intentions to guide Dallas to the championship this year, and if that turns out to be the case, you just know the Slovenian national will have had a career-best season.
Joel Embiid – $7
After finishing second in this award over the past two years, Embiid might have the pieces around him to go one better this season. The 76ers have extra depth after some savvy off-season recruiting and Embiid will have had extra time to jell with James Harden after he joined Philadelphia last season.
Having led the league in scoring last year, Embiid is a known quality with the ball, but a little more impact when in defence will have him right at the top of the voting this year.
The question around Embiid is always his durability, but MVP voters are notorious for rewarding a body of work over several seasons, and Embiid ticks all the boxes there.
Ja Morant – $10
Morant hasn’t quite scaled the heights of some of the shorter-priced favourites for the MVP, but he put together some runs last year that had him as the hottest property in basketball. He doesn’t have the experience of some of the others in the running, but his ceiling is sky high, and he was recognised with seventh place in last year’s voting.
Add some consistency to his natural progression, and there is no telling what Morant could become.
This year could be something exceptional for the Grizzlies star, and he may well become a genuine superstar of the league.
Kevin Durant – $9.50
For all his accolades, Durant’s legacy has always been partly in the shadow of teammates and opponents alike. There is some uncertainty around him after a turbulent off-season for Brooklyn, and we may see some player movement that could include him or one of his fellow star teammates, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving.
He was simply dominant at times last year and clearly, on the court at least, is not affected by the Nets drama.
His one MVP win came nine years ago, and with a bit of a chip on his shoulder will be keen to make a statement this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – $7
The Bucks are perennial contenders with the Greek Freak on the roster, and he shows no sign of slowing up.
Unlike some of the other MVP contenders who have the luxury of being on a super team, there is no doubting whose team the Bucks are. His breathtaking athleticism and dominance on offence and defence will see him in solid contention for a third MVP win.
Kevin Durant – MVP at $9.50