The first couple weeks of the 2021 NBA Season has concluded and teams are anywhere from 5 to 7 games in already. Some players have been preforming beyond their potential and some players aren’t playing like themselves. The stars in the league have already looked ahead about resting and sitting back to back games and some players have already done that. Kawhi Lenoard and Kyrie Irving are some stars that have decided to sit games early in the season and that is why I don’t think they will be the MVP talk this year. I believe these 5 young stars of the league will be in competition with themselves to put up big numbers for their team in order to win a Most Valuable Player award this year.
#5 Jayson Tatum
Tatum is the biggest underdog on this list but I think this is an impossible task. The Boston Celtics have a great surrounding cast with Walker and Brown to help Tatum play like a Superstar in this league. After losing to the Miami Heat in the bubble last year, Jayson Tatum has already seemed to take his game to another level. Last year, Tatum’s 3rd NBA season, he averaged 24.3 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting 45% from the field. Appearing in his first All Star game last year, he also made the ALL-NBA 3rd team joining the biggest names in the game. He was joined by Russell Westbrook, Jimmy Butler, Rudy Gobert, and Ben Simmons. After finishing 12th last year in the MVP race, I think Tatum can make a huge leap in the MVP race after already averaging 25 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3 assists in the 3 games played in the new season. If the Celtics can finish one of the top 3 seeds in the East which I expect, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tatum is a name in that discussion for this award.
#4 Kevin Durant
After Durant tore his Achilles playing in the 2019 NBA Finals vs the Raptors, he missed the whole 2019-2020 season after signing with the Brooklyn Nets who acquired Kyrie Irving also. Two players who have superstar talent, they both can feed off each other and are picked as the favorites to win the East this season. Durant is looked as a top 3 player in the league, just the question is that is he enough to win a championship on a team where he isn’t alongside 3 All Star players. Durant is a 1x MVP and a 2x Champion with 2 NBA Finals MVPs so awards and recognition isn’t new to Durant. With the 3 games he has played this year, he has averaged 26.7 points, 4.4 points, and 3 assists. If he keeps playing and posting numbers like these, there is no reason why Durant shouldn’t win his second MVP trophy.
#3 Anthony Davis
AD is now an NBA Champion after getting traded to the the Lakers this previous season and playing with the best player in the league in LeBron James. He averaged 26 points, 9 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists while making the All NBA 1st team along with his superstar teammate. Davis has made his case for being a top 5 player in the league and I believe he was top 5 in the MVP race last season. If the Lakers repeat as champions I don’t see why Davis cannot win this individual award and maybe even win Defensive Player of the Year averaging 2.5 blocks last year and 1.5 steals. The sky is the limit for Davis and the better duo that plays in Staples Center.
#2 Giannis Antetokounmpo
Ever since the 2016-2017 season, The Greek Freak has won all the individual awards you can win. The Milwaukee Bucks superstar is looking to build a team to win a championship. Giannis in the past 2 seasons has won 2 MVP awards and the DPOY award last year. He also has been named on 4 All NBA teams and 3 All Defensive teams in the past 4 seasons. With the 6’11 Forward signing a 5 year/ $282.2 million dollar deal to stay with the Bucks, he is probably looking for a ring before his 3rd MVP trophy. With his talent I wouldn’t be shocked if it is awarded to him for a 3rd season in a row.
Here are some names that just missed the Top 5 due to reasons like they might not be developed yet to be in the Most Valuable Player talk or simply I don’t think they are good enough at this moment to win this award. Another reason some players won’t win this award is because their team isn’t good enough to get them to be in those MVP talks. Some players that just missed this article are Bradley Beal, Trae Young, LeBron James, James Harden, Dame Lillard, Joel Embiid, and Nikola Jokic.
#1 Luka Dončić
Entering his 3rd season in the NBA, Dončić has made himself a household name and is emerging as a superstar in this league. In his second season he was averaging 29/9/9 along with racking up 17 triple doubles and leading the Dallas Mavericks to the 7th seed in the West. Luka also won Rookie of the Year in the 2018-2019 season and was named All NBA 1st Team this past season. Even if the Slovenia Native doesn’t have a good enough team to fight for a championship, I can see an MVP Trophy in the near future.