The NBA season is getting closer and closer to a much more competitive environment with the NBA playoffs just around the corner.
Behind every great roster is usually headlined by star players that lead the team as a unit, surrounded by solid role players that pick up the slack for the teams prized stars. Although no player can make every shot and win every game, there are just some performances that make a players value incline throughout their careers.
The NBA, along with other professional sports associations, name a leagues “Most Valuable Player” that solidifies the players elite presence throughout the entire season and adds a hardware to a shelf that not many players can say they have.
Here is an updated 2021 NBA season MVP rankings.
10.) SG Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
FG % : 48.5%
Devin Booker has been overlooked for several seasons as he has averaged over 25 points every season since 2017. Booker and Chris Paul have the Suns sitting comfortably in the Western Conference at 40-16, currently holding onto the 2nd seed. Booker continues to reach elite levels and develop into more and more of an NBA superstar. It’s fair to give Devin Booker a shine of light when it comes to the MVP award, but it would take a lot more to hoist the award in Phoenix.
9.) SF Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
FG % : 51.5%
Kawhi Leonard continues to be efficient while also remaining as lethal as ever. One of the best two-way players in the league doesn’t hold a ton of leverage in the MVP conversation with the amount of games missed/rested, and with Paul George continuing to shine. Although there are factors that point to Kawhi not being super-valuable to the Clippers, Leonard will continue to be their cornerstone and resilient, but quiet leader.
8.) PG / SF LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
FG % : 51.3%
Can you blame 36-year-old LeBron James for missing some time after the shortest NBA offseason in the history of the association? It’s not fair to discredit what Lebron is doing in year 19. Almost averaging a triple-double is ridiculous at 36, let alone having another superstar like Anthony Davis taking away some ball percentage throughout the season. Availability is the issue for James, but it’s fair to have him here, or maybe a little higher for others.
7.) SG James Harden, Brooklyn Nets
FG % : 46.7%
The Brooklyn Nets super-team is appearing to look more lethal as the roster meshes throughout the NBA season, and James Harden has been more than productive on the offensive side of the court. Just over a full rebound shy of averaging a triple double for Harden who is in the middle of an offensive unit that is learning to grow with 3 superstars. Harden is having an amazing year, but it’s hard to tell his value when he looks left and can pass to Kevin Durant, or look right and dish it to Kyrie Irving if his plethora of moves fails him.
6.) PG / SG Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks
Luka has had yet another magical season with crazy shots and memories to remember, but fun and crazy doesn’t win you an MVP honor. Luka has the Mavericks just over .500 on the season with a 30-26 record, which is currently the 7th seed in the Western Conference. If Luka Dončić wants to win an MVP, it starts with dominating the win column.
5.) PG Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers
FG % : 44%
Damian Lillard’s MVP stock was rising up until recently where the point guard has struggled, and missed Portland’s previous two games. His early year performances are keeping his name in the top-five mix, but if the struggles continue, expect his name to drop on most MVP ladders.
4.) PG Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors
FG % : 49.1 %
Steph Curry has been doing it all for the Golden State Warriors including a few 40+ point performances that are pushing the Warriors slowly back into playoff contention. The Warriors could find a way to sneak into the postseason and it will solely be because of Steph Curry with his veteran leadership, and elite scoring game play.
3.) PF Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
FG % : 56.5%
Giannis Antetokounmpo is performing like his elite self, but it is very unlikely Antetokounmpo runs away with his third consecutive MVP award due to voting fatigue. Although Giannis may go on a tear and look like a better candidate than most, his shelf may need a year or two in order to clear some room.
2.) PF / C Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
FG % : 51.6%
Joel Embiid has been one of the NBA’s more elite offensive talents and is even being mentioned in DPOY conversations with teammate Ben Simmons. The Sixers currently hold a tight grasp on the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference due to Embiids elite year in new head coach Doc Rivers system. Embiid has been one of the hardest night-in-night-out matchups for NBA centers in 2021, and it could earn him an MVP trophy if he remains healthy.
1.) PF / C Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets
FG % : 56.7%
The Kia MVP Ladder favorite Nikola Jokic remains the League Alerts favorite until further notice. An ACL tear is very unfortunate for Jamal Murray, but this is Nikola Jokić’s chance to solidify himself as the 2021 NBA MVP. Almost averaging a triple-double and making daily flashy passes that crack SportsCenter have earned Jokic’s respect as the favorite, but wins and hard performances will actually win him the award. The ball is in Nikola Jokić’s court.