Who can dethrone Giannis Antetokounmpo? The two-time NBA MVP with the Milwaukee Bucks recently signed a five-year supermax contract to stay with the team, which means Milwaukee could see a three-peat this season. While typical names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry are likely NBA MVP contenders, there are always a few under the radar names that we don’t think about.
This year, these three players are going to make huge jumps in their game. With that said, look out for these superstars to break out and potentially win the MVP this season.
Under the Radar NBA MVP Candidates
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic nearly led the Dallas Mavericks to an upset over the Los Angeles Clippers by himself. Heading into his third NBA season, Doncic could be a solid contender on pointsbet review. With the Mavericks missing Kristaps Porzingis in the beginning part of the season, the team doesn’t want to get off to a slow start. That means the team is going to rely on Doncic to win games. Doncic could be an MVP candidate this season after posting 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists last year. These are borderline triple-double numbers that we haven’t seen since Russell Westbrook when he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder. We have all seen what Doncic can do when the lights are on. The next “showtime” could be making his mark in Dallas this year.
Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
In the playoffs, Jamal Murray scored 50 points twice against the Utah Jazz and once scored 42 points. In the Western Conference Finals, Murray scored over 20 points in four of the five games against the Los Angeles Lakers. However, during the regular season, Murray averaged 18.5 points, four rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. Murray hasn’t shown his playoff production consistently throughout a regular season. The Nuggets will be a top-3 team in the Western Conference this season with what Murray produces regularly. If the team wants to challenge the Lakers for the top spot in the West, then Murray has to transform his game to consistently play the way he did in the playoffs, but for 72 games.
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are hopeful that they see a transformation like what the Atlanta Hawks saw last season. The Hawks were spoiled with Trae Young’s development. In Young’s first season, he averaged 19.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 8.1 assists. That grew to 29.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 9.2 assists in his second season. Ja Morant won the NBA Rookie of the Year last season by averaging 17.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.3 assists. There are high expectations for the 21-year old heading into this season. The Grizzlies were on the cusp of making the postseason last year. The defense was a top-10 squad in allowed field goal percentage. If the Grizzlies want to compete in the loaded Western Conference, the franchise needs Morant to take a turn like Young. Morant is just 21 years old. At 22 years and 211 days, Derrick Rose became the youngest MVP in NBA history. Could we see the record broken this year?