Nikola Jokic or Giannis Antetokounmpo? Early predictions for NBA MVP award - Hindustan Times

Nikola Jokic or Giannis Antetokounmpo? Early predictions for NBA MVP award and more

Aug 23, 2023 12:52 PM IST

Despite guiding Denver Nuggets to their maiden championship last season, Jokic could not win the NBA MVP. Will he be able to claim it this year?

Nikola Jokic did win his first championship for the Denver Nuggets last season but the Serbian narrowly missed out on the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. It was Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid who was crowned the regular-season MVP last time, ending Jokic’s chances of winning the prestigious award back-to-back three times.

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets(Getty Images via AFP)
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets(Getty Images via AFP)

Will Jokic be able to win the MVP this time or someone like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic steal the show? Here we take a look at the predictions for the NBA 2023-24 MVP along with the other awards.

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Who will win the NBA MVP?

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic won back-to-back two MVPs in 2021 and 2022. Jokic failed to win the award third time last season but that hardly bothered him. “The job is done, we can go home now. It was an amazing effort by the team. That is why basketball is a fun sport, it is a live thing, you cannot say this is going to happen, there are so many factors. I’m just happy we won the game,” Jokic was quoted as saying by Reuters after Denver Nuggets won their first NBA title last season.

The ESPN panel has now predicted that the next MVP award will return to Denver. Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum and Philadelphia 76ers’ reigning award holder Joel Embiid find themselves on ESPN's top-five potential next MVP winners. Jokic averaged 30 points, 13.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game last season.

According to CBS, Caesars Sportsbook’s early odds for next season's MVP award place Jokic in pole position. Jokic may have won the MVP award twice but he has never entered a season as the favourite. Just like ESPN, CBS’ top-five list also comprises Antetokounmpo, Doncic, Tatum and Embiid.

Who will win Defensive Player of the Year?

The ESPN panel has predicted that Memphis Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. will reclaim his Defensive Player of the Year award this time. Jackson Jr. won his first Defensive Player of the Year award last season. He became the second-youngest player in the history of the NBA to win the award.

Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo and Giannis Antetokounmpo are also in contention for the Defensive Player of the Year award, as per the ESPN panel.

Who will win NBA Rookie of the Year?

According to Fox Sports, San Antonio Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama is the early favourite to win the Rookie of the Year award. The ESPN panel, however, believes that Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chet Holmgren will pip Wembanyama to claim the next Rookie of the Year award.

Who will win Coach of the Year?

Oklahoma City Thunder coach Mark Daigneault is predicted to win it, according to ESPN. Daigneault and the Thunder agreed to a multiyear contract extension just last month.

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