Kevin Durant knows a thing or two about MVPs. He won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2014, was named the NBA Finals MVP in both championship seasons with the Golden State Warriors, and has taken home two All-Star Game MVPs throughout his legendary career.
The Brooklyn Nets superstar isn’t in contention for the 2022 league MVP because of the time he’s missed due to injury, but he does have a vote for who he thinks deserves the award.
The 2022 NBA MVP race is heating up
The NBA MVP race has been a roller coaster all season long. In the first few months of the season, it looked as if Stephen Curry was going to roll to his third MVP, but he fell out of contention thanks to a prolonged shooting slump and the Warriors slipping to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
Kevin Durant had his time as the favorite due to his prolific scoring season, but a knee injury forced him to miss more than a month of action and lose too much momentum.
Over the past few weeks, Joel Embiid had jumped up the odds board to become the betting favorite. He currently sits as a -160 favorite to win the award, with Nikola Jokic right behind him at +135. Check out the full list of NBA MVP odds below:
Joel Embiid: -160
Nikola Jokic: +135
Giannis Antetokounmpo: +800
Ja Morant: +2000
Luka Doncic: +3000
DeMar DeRozan: +3000
Devin Booker: +8000
Stephen Curry: 10000
Kevin Durant: +15000
Kevin Durant casts his MVP vote for Joel Embiid
Durant might not be a part of the MVP conversation any longer, but he still has an opinion on the matter. On Friday night, he cast his MVP vote for Embiid.
“If I had to take a guess, I will go, it’s between Joel Embiid, DeMar DeRozan, Ja Morant for me. Those are my top three,” Durant said. “And I’ll probably go Joel. I mean, [Nikola] Jokic, you could throw Jokic in there, but I’ll probably go Joel. I mean, there’s so many players playing at a high level man, so like I said the other day, league’s in a great place.”Kevin Durant
Embiid is leading the league in scoring (30.0 points per game) and has the Philadelphia 76ers currently in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference standings, so it’s hard to argue against the big fella this year.
Does Embiid deserve the MVP award?
Not only is Embiid scoring more points than any other player in the NBA this season. He also has the 76ers in a position to earn the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference despite the team’s second-highest-paid player, Ben Simmons, sitting out the entire year.
Even before James Harden joined the fold, the Sixers were always right near the top of the standings in the East. Embiid is the only reason that was possible.
If Embiid finishes the season with a scoring title and a top-three seed in the loaded Eastern Conference, he absolutely deserves the award.
Betting odds courtesy of DraftKings.