Jokic, Embiid Lead NBA MVP Race After All-Star Game – NBC Chicago

Jokic, Embiid lead NBA MVP race after All-Star Game originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Utah has wrapped up, and the potential league MVP could reign from that contest.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum took home the MVP award from that game after a 55-point showing, and other stars like Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell rose to the occasion, too, as Team Giannis topped Team LeBron 184-175.

However, as the league prepares to resume play on Feb. 23, the favorite to win the 2022-23 MVP Award was not a standout in the annual showcase. 

Let’s take a look at the favorites for the award as the calendar gets closer to the postseason:

Who is the favorite to win the NBA MVP?

Nikola Jokic is making a run for an MVP three-peat.

The Denver Nuggets center is the two-time reigning winner of the award, and he’s ahead of the pack once again. With a triple-double average of 24.7 points (24th in NBA), 11.5 rebounds (T-5th) and 10.1 assists (T-3rd) per game, Jokic has the league’s top MVP odds at -300, according to our partner, PointsBet.

Embiid is close behind Jokic. The Sixers star is one of the top scorers in the NBA, averaging 33.1 points per game, trailing only Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic in the category, who is averaging 33.3. Embiid is second in the odds race at +500.

In third is Milwaukee Bucks do-it-all man Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 31.8 points (3rd in NBA), 12.2 rebounds (T-3rd) and 5.4 assists (T-36th). 

Here is a look at the top seven candidates in the NBA’s MVP race as of Feb. 20:

  • Nikola Jokic: -300
  • Joel Embiid: +500
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: +1200
  • Luka Doncic: +1400
  • Jayson Tatum: +1400
  • Ja Morant: +5000
  • LeBron James: +10000

Did the NBA rename the MVP trophy?

This year’s most valuable player will be the first to take home the new Michael Jordan Trophy. The NBA redesigned and renamed its major, end-of-season awards in December and chose to honor the Chicago Bulls legend in the process.

The NBA also announced the Jerry West Trophy (Clutch Player of the Year), Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy (Defensive Player of the Year), Wilt Chamberlain Trophy (Rookie of the Year), John Havlicek Trophy (Sixth Man of the Year) and George Mikan Trophy (Most Improved Player).

How many NBA players have been MVP?

Thirty-five players have been named NBA MVP.

Fifteen of those players were multi-time winners, while 20 earned the award once.

Editor’s note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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