Top 5 candidates for the KIA NBA MVP trophy 

The race for the most prestigious award in the NBA is too close for comfort. Here are the top 5 candidates for the KIA MVP award.

Nikola Jokic of Denver Nuggets (Left) and Joel Embiid of Philadelphia (right) file photo, Image credit: twitter
By Shrey Gupta | Dec 2, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The race to the top of the mountain has just begun, but there are some clear front runners. The MVP award is the most prestigious regular season accolade awarded to an individual player in the NBA. Nikola Jokic has won the last two editions of his award, and Giannis Antetekounmo won it twice between 2019 and 2020. The two international players are making a lot of buzz this season, but two new overseas players have emerged for the contention of the MVP award.

Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid are having great individual seasons. Luka has a season similar to prime Michael Jordan. Joel Embiid has come quite close to the trophy in the past. His second-place finishes in the 2021-22 season remain the most remarkable ones. Jason Tatum and Devin Booker are also silencing their doubter with a strong start to the season. Stephen Curry flirted with the MVP trophy last season but was not a serious candidate. Even though he got his hands on the NBA finals trophy he is bound to be robbed of the MVP award yet again. Here are the top 5 rankings for the Kia MVP trophy since a quarter of the season has concluded.

#1 Jason Tatum- Boston Celtics

Season stats: 31.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 4.5 APG

Tatum’s season-high of 49 points was enough to boost him up the ladder for the top spot. The performance marked Tatum’s third 40-point game of the season as Boston’s top-rated offense powered the team’s fifth straight win. Tatum is the sixth player in NBA history to record at least 45 points in multiple games, at least 10 rebounds and just one or fewer turnovers.

#2 Luka Doncic-Dallas Mavericks

Season stats: 33.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 8.7 APG

The 2022-23 season is all Luka Doncic. Luka’s Dallas Mavericks probably has the worst record of all of the other candidates here. At 10-11, Luka is sitting at the 11 spot outside of the play-in tournament. Luka is the NBA’s leading scorer, and Doncic continues to dominate. He may be the third overseas player in 5 years to win this award. Luka Magic was on against their recent fixture against the Golden State Warriors as he clinched his 51st triple-double of his career.

#3 Nikola Jokic- Denver Nuggets

Season stats: 22.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 8.9 APG

Nikola Jokic falls into the Giannis boat of probability; with the two MVP trophies in two seasons, Jokic might not get to see a third just because no one has ever done it but the greats. Nikola, as of yet, does not belong in the categories of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, and Larry Bird, who have won three in a row. Although all records are meant to be broken, Nikola seems the perfect candidate to re-write history with. Over Denver’s current four-game win streak, the two-time reigning MVP connected on 66.7% from the field and 44.4% from 3-point range while producing double-doubles in each contest to keep the Nuggets only one game out of first place in the West. 

#4 Giannis Antetokounmpo- Milwaukee Bucks

Season stats: 31.3 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 5.5 APG

The Milwaukee Bucks are second in the east as of today and 11-2 at home. They are on a three-game win streak without their star player Khris Middleton. Giannis is having a season for the ages for the Bucks. It is rare for an NBA player not named LeBron James and Michael Jordan to win three MVP’s and the t realistically is the only thighs stopping the greek freak. Giannis Antetokounmpo hasn’t scored fewer than 30 points in a game since Nov. 18, and the Bucks have captured three straight wins.

#5 Devin Booker,-Phoenix Suns

Season stats: 29.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.8 APG

The Phoenix suns sit at the top of a stacked Western Conference with 15 wins and a staggering 12-1 record at home. NBA’s longest current winning streak (six games). Booker has kept the Suns afloat without their star-studded cast of Chris Paul, Cameron Johnson, and Jae Crowder. Booker became just the eighth player to score 50-plus points (he had 51) in 31 minutes or fewer in the shot clock era. 

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