With the NBA season now wrapped up after the Golden State Warriors were crowned champions, we now look ahead to the 2022-23 campaign. The Dubs are already the early favorite to win it all again, but there are several teams such as the Clippers, Bucks, Grizzlies, and Celtics, among others, who will surely be in the mix. In terms of the MVP conversation, it's almost a year until someone will be named. Nikola Jokic won the prestigious award this past season for the second straight year, but there are two favorites right now in the sportsbooks: Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid. Many felt Embiid was robbed of the honor in 22' after a phenomenal season for the Sixers where he won the scoring title. Keep reading for our 2023 NBA MVP props.
2023 NBA MVP Props
|Odds to Win 2023 NBA MVP|
Can Luka win it?
Luka Doncic is one of the brightest superstars in the game today and he put his talent on full display in the playoffs, leading the Mavericks to a huge upset of the Phoenix Suns. Although Doncic didn't get any first-place votes in the 2022 race, he's a slim frontrunner for 2023 at +400 odds. The Slovenian Sniper averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.4 assists in 65 games for Dallas and elevated his game even more in the postseason, putting up 31.7 points in 15 outings. Since he did miss 17 games in the regular season, it's understandable why Luka didn't get a lot of consideration for MVP. But, the things he does on the court scream the best player on the planet. He is the franchise cornerstone of the Mavs and can literally do everything, whether he's scoring the rock or facilitating at a high level. The best is still yet to come for Doncic and with a legitimate big on the roster now in Christian Wood, we could see a career campaign from Luka in 2022-23.
Is this Embiid's time?
There's really nothing else Embid could've done last season in order to win MVP. The Cameroonian carried the 76ers at numerous times, posting averages of 30.6 points, 11.7 boards, and 4.2 dimes while shooting 37% from downtown. Embiid is a modern-day big with ball-handling skills and frankly, there isn't anyone in this league who can stop him defensively. When James Harden initially arrived in Philly, he made Embiid even better but in the playoffs, the partnership wasn't as electric. Nevertheless, with a full season under Doc Rivers, Harden should help Embiid flourish even more in 2022-23. There does seem to be some bias against the former Kansas standout in regards to MVP, though. But with Denver's best guys coming back next season, Embiid could outshine Jokic this time around and finally take home the award.
Nikola Jokic looking for three-peat
It would be frankly unfair to not mention the two-time MVP. His 2023 NBA MVP props odds sit at +920, but you can never count the Serbian out. He's the sole reason Denver even made the playoffs in 22-23, guiding them to a 48-34 record despite being without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. The Joker suited up for 74 games and averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 assists, and 13.8 rebounds. From a scoring standpoint, Embiid was better. However, Jokic impacts the game across the board and makes everyone around him better. Plus, he truly was the Most Valuable Player because taking the Nuggets to the postseason with very minimal help is impressive in itself. Now, there are only three players to ever win MVP three years in a row. Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Larry Bird. In this day and age where the league is full of such vibrant talent, it's unlikely Jokic can do it again, especially because Porter Jr and Murray will be getting their fair of touches as well.
Giannis can't be counted out
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a two-time MVP winner and the most dominant player in the Association, hands down. His length and physicality are an absolute handful for every opponent and with an improved jump shot, Giannis is slowly becoming the full package. The Bucks' hopes of another title run ended prematurely after they were knocked out in the East Semis after Khris Middleton went down early in the playoffs with a knee injury. Nonetheless, The Greek Freak did his part all season long, compiling 29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists. His numbers shot up even more in the playoffs, too, averaging almost 32 points per contest. Antetokounmpo's odds sit at +560 here, the third-best behind Embiid and Luka. You can never count out Giannis and there is always a very high chance he makes a run at MVP again.
Don't sleep on Ja Morant
You simply cannot forget about the most electrifying player in the NBA, Ja Morant. It was only a matter of time until he reached superstar status and it happened in 2021-22, making the All-Star Game as a starter and serving as the go-to guy on a young, exciting Grizzlies team. If it wasn't for his injury against the Warriors in the West Semis, there was a legitimate chance Memphis would've beaten Golden State. But there is still a bright future for this franchise, with Ja at the forefront. He took a significant leap in Year 3, erupting for 27.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.7 rebounds. He only played in 57 games however due to injury and if Morant is going to make a run at MVP, he'll need to stay healthy.
Remember, most players who win the award suit up for at least 70 contests in today's NBA. Ja is certainly the most marketable talent in the league right now because of his versatile skill set and old-school style of play. He's a guy who loves to use his athleticism to rise above the rim and attack, resorting more to interior scoring than perimeter scoring, something that is rare for a small guard. Plus, he's extremely likable. All of this certainly matters.
There are other names that could undoubtedly find themselves in the MVP conversation come next seasons such as Jayson Tatum, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry. But, for an early pick, I'm liking Luka Doncic. He is such a special talent and if he stays healthy enough, the Mavs star should be able to win his very first MVP.
Pick: Luka Doncic to win 2023 NBA MVP.
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