Now that the 2021 NBA season is over, we need to look at next year.
The draft is approaching.
Followed by free agency.
Teams are preparing for the future and so should we.
The NBA is a year-long sport now.
It is a good time to look at potential awards for next season.
Let’s start with the most prestigious individual award in the NBA; that is the MVP award.
Nikola Jokic won it this season, but it was a weird season for this honor.
However, they missed time due to injuries.
Jokic was the last man standing and won the MVP.
Next season should be different.
The offseason is a normal length from the Finals to training camp.
It will be 82 games once again.
That means the MVP race could be a tighter and more exciting race.
Here are the top three MVP candidates for next season.
3. Luka Doncic
Prior to this season, Luka Doncic was one of the preseason favorites for MVP.
That idea become unrealistic when he was not playing at a superstar level for the first month of the season.
His Dallas Mavericks were struggling, but the second half of the season went a lot smoother.
Doncic ended up putting up great numbers by seasons’ end.
He had splits of 27.7/8/8.6.
The man can do it all.
Doncic is only 22 years old and can still get better.
People are already predicting an MVP for next season.
#Mavericks G Luka Dončić is winning 2022 MVP. Book it, screenshot it, whatever. Book that.
— Cam Marino (@MarinoNFL) July 22, 2021
Doncic will win in the future and that future could be next season.
2. Joel Embiid
The frontrunner for MVP for most of this season was Embiid.
He was a monster all year long.
28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game were his stats for the season.
Unfortunately, he suffered an injury that sidelined him for a little bit of time.
This led to him losing the award from his grasp.
Embiid believes he can still get better, which is a scary thing to fathom.
With Joel Embiid's big leap this season, He's sure to be in the MVP conversation for the foreseeable future 👀 pic.twitter.com/G1u8NDSXbD
— Sixers Nation (@SixersNationCP) July 19, 2021
Embiid is one of the most dominant players in the league already.
If there is a chance he can get better, then expect him to be an MVP candidate for next season.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
The reigning Finals MVP is Giannis Antetokounmpo.
This is after destroying the Phoenix Suns in six games to win the Finals this season.
Antetokounmpo had one of the greatest performances in Finals history.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the first ever player to average 35 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists during an NBA finals series.
Legendary performance on the biggest stage 👑 pic.twitter.com/EyqKCWdDBN
— Giannis SZN ✈️🦌 (@Giannis34SZN) July 23, 2021
Can he follow that up with another MVP award?
He already has two MVPs on his resume, but he began to suffer from voters fatigue.
Before the playoffs and season, we assumed that he would never win another MVP again.
Now, he has put himself in a different level in regard to NBA history.
He is up there already and is only 26 years old.
More MVPs will bring him to another echelon with the all-time greats.
Antetokounmpo will definitely be in the hunt next season for a title repeat.
He will also be looking to add another MVP this season.NEXT: Why Chris Paul Should Choose To Stay With Suns