Updated NBA MVP ladder: What are odds for Sixers’ Joel Embiid?

Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Sixers NBA MVP Ladder Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Sixers NBA MVP Ladder Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The calendar will flip to 2023 in a couple weeks. As we dive further into the depths of the NBA regular season, the noise around the MVP award is starting to die down and we can begin the analyze the true contenders. It will surprise no one, of course, that Joel Embiid is one of those contenders.

Unfortunately for Embiid, the Sixers’ team success has been limited by a slew of injuries and the general chemistry funk such circumstances entail. The team hasn’t clicked yet, and while there’s plenty of time to make that happen, Philadelphia is operating at a disadvantage compared to its foremost Eastern Conference challengers.

So, what chance does Joel Embiid have? We released an MVP ladder earlier in the season, when the stack of candidates was thicker than your college chemistry textbook. Now the list of names is getting smaller, with the real contenders separating themselves from the fun fringe guys no one will actually talk about at season’s end.

Does the Sixers’ Joel Embiid have a real chance to win MVP this season?

We will focus on the top six for the purposes of this article, but for now: here are the honorable mentions.

  • Anthony Davis, Lakers
  • Ja Morant, Grizzlies
  • Devin Booker, Suns
  • Zion Williamson, Pelicans
  • Stephen Curry, Warriors

6. player. 79. . G. Dallas Mavericks. Luka Doncic

There are myriad possible definitions for the term “Most Valuable Player,” but it’s hard to imagine voters will look at Luka Doncic and not think he meets the criteria on some level, whatever the criteria may be. Dallas is lagging behind in terms of team success right now, but the 23-year-old from Slovenia has essentially been a one-man show.

No player in the NBA has carried a higher usage rate than Doncic, and what he’s doing with that usage is difficult to overstate. He’s averaging career-highs in points (33.0) and field goal percentage (49.9), all while spreading the wealth and picking apart defenses with his trademark passing wizardry (8.7 assists per game).

He’s not the same defensive monster of some of his counterparts on this list, but no player in the NBA can match Doncic’s on-paper importance to his team’s offense. Just in terms of the sheer volume he is asked to carry, it’s hard to dispute Doncic’s “value.” If the Mavs creep back up in the standings, Doncic has a very real path to the top-3.