Who is Worthy of MVP?

The NBA Most Valuable Player race has been one for the ages this 2022-23 season. Four players have a legitimate case for MVP this year…Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nicola Jokic, Jason Tatum, and Joel Embiid. An MVP win for any of these players would elevate their status into greatness.

Jokic from the Nuggets is currently the reigning and back-to-back MVP winner, a win would make him the first player to three-peat since Larry Bird. Giannis, who is in the running for the best power forward of all time, has already won a championship and two MVPs at just 28 years old. A league MVP this year would shorten the gap between him and Tim Duncan. Jason Tatum endured a deep playoff run which landed the Celtics in the finals last year. That deep run solidified Tatum as a Superstar in the league, and an MVP for Tatum may make him the face of the next generation of hoops. The fourth candidate would be Joel Embiid, who should have won at least one MVP in the last two years. He is the best big man in the NBA; he can shoot, play inside, is one of the best-shot blockers/defenders in the NBA, and without him, the 76ers would be toast. I feel like he’s being disrespected just because he plays in Philly, and people feel some type of way about the city of Philadelphia. An MVP for Embiid would give him the respect he deserves, and he would be the first 76er to win the award since Iverson in 2001. 

 In order to win the Most Valuable Player award, the player must have a winning record, they MUST stay healthy, and they should be the best player on the team. Staying healthy is the most important because in the last few years, we have seen MVP front runners drop down in the rankings due to injury. In 2021, both Joel Embiid and Lebron James were leading in the voting. They both suffered injuries towards the end of the season, which derailed their campaign. As a result of their injuries, Jokic won MVP that year. Last year when Kevin Durant (who is arguably the best player in the world) was leading in voting for a good chunk of the season, and then a knee sprain nearly ended his season. Jokic won the award later that year. Let me be clear, I am a huge fan of Jokićs game. He is probably the most consistent player in the NBA. His game requires no athleticism and zero flashiness, and he can give you thirty and ten a night. 

Over halway through the season, everyone is asking who will win MVP? As a fan of the game, I am okay with any of these players winning the MVP. 

Jason Tatum


Photo found at en.wikipedia.org

 30.2 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 4.7 APG, 46% FG, 35% 3PT, 23.6 PER

Jason Tatum put the NBA world on notice in last year’s playoffs by the way he performed, but Jason eventually flamed out in the Finals last year. Let’s not knock Tatum for his final performance. Each year since he’s been in the NBA, he has gotten better. Now in year 6, Tatum is the best he’s ever been at just 25 years old. Being the best player on arguably the best team in the NBA, it is easy to think Tatum has a chance to win the award for the first time in his career. 

Joel Embiid 

Photo found at photostore.nba.com

33.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 4.1 APG, 53% FG, 1.6 BPG, 30.4 PER

I love Embiid. I’m part of the minority who believes he should have won MVP in one of the last two years. When talking about the perfect modern big man on the court, you think of Joel Embiid. He can shoot and finish at an elite level and he is the anchor of the 76ers’ defense. He currently is second behind Luka in the scoring title race, which is impressive. Without Embiid, the Sixers would not be a contender or possibly not even a playoff team without Embiid. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Photo found at photostore.nba.com

 31.2 PPG, 12 RPG, 5.4 APG, 53% FG, 27% 3PT, 28.5 PER

The Bucks are 1st in the East, and Giannis is the best player in the world. Giannis being the two-time MVP that he is, there is no question why he should be considered the MVP this season. Giannis is the best defender in the NBA,  can guard the 1-5 positions, is probably the best interior defender, and is one of the better shot blockers. The former Defensive Player of The Year may potentially win it again this year. Defense is not the only thing he is elite at; he’s a monster on the offensive side of the ball. You can make the argument that he’s the most dominant player since Shaq. Giannis’s stats, and the Bucks being the number one team in the NBA, make him one of the favorites to win the award.

Nikola Jokić 

Photo found at www.cnn.com

24.8 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 10 APG, 1.3 SPG, 63% FG, 39% 3PT, 32.1 PER

The Denver Nuggets are first in the competitive West, which helps Jokić’s case. We can’t ignore that Jokić is averaging a triple-double this season. The last player to average a triple-double and win MVP was Russell Westbrook in 2016. Getting a triple-double in a game is hard already, but averaging one the entire season as a center is insane. 

One player stands out over the rest….Nikola Jokić. If he keeps this high-level play up, he will see a third MVP trophy in his cabinet.