Sometimes we know who the MVP is going to be before the season even starts. Last year, after Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, we expected Russell Westbrook to go bonkers, and he did just that, posting an average triple-double for only the second time in NBA history.
Other times, the MVP comes as something of a surprise. Stephen Curry was hardly the favorite when he won for the first time 2014-15. Derrick Rose came from out of nowhere to win it in 2010-11. Not a sole thought the Phoenix Suns scored the league’s next MVP when they signed Steve Nash away from Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks.
Sure, there are times the favorites win. But sometimes it’s the guy you didn’t expect, and the way this crazy season has started in the Land of the Upside Down, why can’t this be one of those years?
Here is a short list of unexpected players who could walk away with this year’s award if things break right — or at the very least, could garner some support. I’ve listed them in order of likelihood.
This list excludes Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, who are all considered favorites for the award.