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Luka Doncic Installed as Early Favorite to Win 2022 MVP

Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Letter to the Editor

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Dallas Mavericks’ point guard Luka Doncic is an exceptional talent. After just three seasons in the NBA, there is no question about that. His potential was evident following his second season in the NBA and likely why oddsmakers made him the opening favorite to win the 2020-21 MVP. 

It is also probably why he is the early favorite to win MVP in the 2021-22 season. 

Yes, the 2020-21 NBA Finals just finished, and sportsbooks already have odds posted for who will win MVP next season. DraftKings has Doncic favored to win at +400. 

The usual suspects follow him. Joel Embiid has the second-best odds at +700, followed by Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Steph Curry at +800. LeBron James and Damian Lillard follow them at +1100. This year’s MVP, Nikola Jokic, has +1500 odds. 

It may seem unusual for someone so young to be listed over so many veterans, but it actually makes perfect sense. The other players are all established superstars. So, as the season unfolds, they will be expected to play up to an already high standard. 

If they meet those expectations, many will say they played as well as they should—which does not draw near as much attention as a rising star that exceeds expectations. 

Doncic is just 22-years old and is already included in conversations about the NBA’s elite players. However, unlike most superstars, we have yet to see Doncic’s best game. At his age, his skills are still evolving. 

That means there is an excellent chance that he will not only meet but exceed whatever expectations people have for him next season—which makes him a great bet to win MVP. 

However, while one player wins MVP, that player needs to be surrounded by well-coached talent. That was not the case for Doncic last season, and it showed in the slow start the Mavericks had. 

It appears that the Mavericks are looking to do everything they can to put Doncic in the best position possible to excel. The team is also looking into adding one of Doncic’s former coaches to new head coach Jason Kidd’s staff, Igor Kokoskov. 

According to the rumor mill, the Mavericks are also expected to make soon-to-be restricted free agent John Collins (currently with the Atlanta Hawks) an offer. While there has been talk about possibly trading Kristaps Porzingas, Jason Kidd seems eager to work with him: 

“…I think he’s a perfect fit for Luka. He has a skill set that a lot of people don’t have in this league. As a coach, I’m very excited to be able to work with him.” 

If the roster can get better and Kidd can turn Porzingas back into a star, the stage could be set for Doncic to win MVP.  

So— should you go ahead and bet on him? 

Assuming the Mavericks make the most of the offseason and can get off to a strong start, well—you are going to wish you did since his odds will get shorter. 

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