Early NBA MVP Candidates

Luke Smith , Sports Writer

While it’s still fairly early in the season, the NBA has been exciting. We’ve seen players return from injury and shine, breakout players, and the usual superstars perform great despite dealing with COVID-19 and traveling to play. Here are some of the early top candidates for the NBA MVP award. 

Kevin Durant, SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets

After suffering an Achilles injury in the 2019 Finals that kept him out for all of last season, Durant is back to his true form on the court. Averaging 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists per game, Durant is a clear candidate for MVP. These numbers are incredible, especially coming off an Achilles injury. With superstar teammates James Harden and Kyrie Irving, Durant will look to win MVP and make a run for another Finals appearance, both of which he has a good chance to do.


Giannis Antetokounmpo, PF/SF, Milwaukee Bucks

It’s clear to see the Greek Freak is well into his prime, having won two consecutive MVP awards going into this season. Now, Antetokounmpo will make his bid for a third consecutive MVP award and become the fourth player in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Larry Bird to accomplish this. Antetokounmpo is currently averaging 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists per game. With Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are certainly Finals contenders in the East. At only 26 years old, Antetokounmpo has a very bright future ahead of him. 


Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors

After missing a majority of the 2019-2020 season with a hand injury, Curry is back in action and lighting up the league. The two-time MVP is making a run for his third, averaging 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. Already one of the greatest (if not the greatest) shooters the NBA has ever seen, Curry will continue to build on his decorated career. While an MVP award is definitely in the cards for Curry, it will be difficult to make a playoff run in the Western Conference, especially with superstar shooting guard Klay Thompson out for the season with an Achilles injury.


Luka Doncic, PG/SF, Dallas Mavericks

While the Mavericks aren’t considered a valid championship contender, Doncic is definitely a player teams must plan for. Despite the team struggles, Doncic averages 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists per game, leading his team in all three categories. At just 21 years old, Doncic will almost certainly be at the top of the league in a few years. 


Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets

Jokic has had an incredible start to the season, averaging 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists per game, leading his team in all these categories. The superstar center is a valid contender for MVP because of his abilities to do anything on the court. Jokic has asserted himself as one of the best centers in the league, and the Nuggets remain a contender in the West. 


Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers are currently at the top of the Eastern Conference, largely from the play of Embiid. Averaging 28 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, Embiid puts himself in MVP contention early in the season. If he continues this play, along with help from star teammates Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris, the 76ers could finish as one of the top teams in the East and be a championship contender.