NBA MVP race 

Luka is a guaranteed MVP and here is why 


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While no Cougs were selected in the 2022 NBA Draft, five players with ties to the state of Washington were selected on June 23, 2022

ERICK AGUILAR, Evergreen reporter

Luka Dončić has to be given the MVP trophy this season, if not, there will be riots in the streets. 

Let me explain…

I love the MVP Award in the NBA because it tends to be more contingent on the individual’s talent regardless of their position on the floor.

In the NFL, the MVP is always a quarterback, which makes sense. The QB is the most important player on the field. They are the only players in football to touch the ball every play besides the center, a true general. 

The NBA MVP has been given to dominant big men and their sheer strength, to guards who do not stand out physically but are so unbelievably technical and efficient. From Shaq to Steve Nash with many in between. 

Just a reminder, the MVP Award is not an award that goes to the best player in the league, in which case LeBron would be handed the trophy every year. 

In other words, the MVP Award goes to the player who has the heaviest load on their shoulders. 

Pre-texts out of the way, here are the current MVP contenders. 

  • Luka Dončić 
  • Jayson Tatum 
  • Kevin Durant 
  • Ja Morant 
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo 
  • Nikola Jokić 

Let’s trim this down a bit. 

Ja Morant – Memphis Grizzlies 

Morant is a phenomenal player who has the talent to be MVP, but the reality of the situation is that his current team has exceptional talent. 

Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Brandon Clarke, Tyus Jones, Dillon Brooks and Steven Adams are strong contributors to the team’s success. This team is second in the West for a reason. 

Nikola Jokić – Denver Nuggets 

Nikola Jokić is in a similar position. His team is formidable, outside of their starting five they may not have as many highlight players as the Grizzlies, but the team is clearly rolling. First in the West speaks for itself. 

But look. Jokić already has two MVP Awards from 2021 and 2022. Could he be worthy of another? Absolutely, but the league recognizes what that would mean. Three MVP Awards back-to-back-to-back is a strong statement, the only players to do so are Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. I do not think the league is ready to make that claim yet. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks 

His reputation precedes him, a once in a generation talent, Antetokounmpo is truly one of a kind. 

Like all of our mentions thus far, there is talent on that team, they would not have been able to win a championship if that were not the case. 

Interestingly enough, Giannis does have two MVPs already, in 2019 and 2020. His legacy and talent are absolutely deserving of a third MVP, but as mentioned, his team circumstances contradict such. 

The following three players are the ones who bring up more legitimate cases for MVP.

Kevin Durant – Brooklyn Nets 

Durant is a revered veteran, no question about it. And this season he has absolutely stepped up with spectacular offensive production. 

Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics 

Alright, here is where we get serious. Tatum is playing MVP-caliber basketball every night. No denying it. It also cannot be denied that Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown are also on the roster. Not to mention a great bench. 

The play is there, but is he the most valuable? 

Luka Doncic 

Luka has the most unassisted points in the league, with 90% thus far. Yes, 90% of his points are unassisted. Luka is the offense. He has made around 450 baskets this season and around 400 of those are just him.

Luka has the most unassisted points in the league and he averages 33. I mean who else is on the roster? Spencer Dinwiddie, Tim Hardaway Jr., Christian Wood. OK sure, three players who do not even average more than 20 points a game. 

Have you seen Luka play? It’s like a child molding something out of Play-Doh. He manipulates the defense. He can score at any level no matter who is guarding him. Luka can truly create his own shot, doesn’t matter what the defense does, shot goes down. 

Jalen Brunson was supposed to be that number two man on the roster but is now on the Knicks as of this season. 

Luka ranks No. 1 in MVP candidates.