NBA award predictions: Will the Sixers finally get recognized?

Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

2023 NBA Most Valuable Player Prediction

. Joel Embiid. 1. player. 93. .

2. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks 

Nobody has won three straight MVP awards since Larry Bird. While I think Nikola Jokic is more than capable of making history, I’m not sure the voting body is eager to anoint him on the same level as Larry Bird. There’s a sizable chunk of the voting block predetermined to vote for someone else. Joel Embiid has been that “someone else” two years running.

If you’re a movie buff who listens to the Rewatchables Podcast, you will sometimes hear Bill Simmons make mention of an “It’s Time” award — when the Oscars reward a great filmmaker or performer because “it’s time,” even if it’s not their best work. We could see something similar with the MVP race. Even if Embiid doesn’t separate himself from Jokic or Giannis or whoever else enters the fray, he could win the award because it’s just… time.

Embiid has been within reach of the award two years in a row now. The Sixers have surrounded him with more talent top to bottom than ever before. Embiid’s life should be easier this season. Harden will boost Embiid’s efficiency and draw double teams of his own. Embiid has also committed to playing the best defense of his career, if you’re to believe his training camp comments. Well, the “he plays both sides of the ball” argument has been used by many Embiid supporters in the past. If he puts up an elite defensive season and maintains his recent scoring output, it’s hard not to consider Embiid the preseason favorite.

Jokic will make his own push. Giannis is the best player in basketball and can’t be ignored. Luka Doncic is the Vegas favorite and will post absurd numbers for Dallas, a team built almost entirely around Luka’s ball dominance. Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker — can’t ignore them either. But Embiid is the favorite, whether you think he will have the best season or if you just think the voters are itching for change.

Top 30 players in franchise history. dark. Next