Who’s the 2018-2019 NBA MVP?
James Harden just won the 2017-2018 NBA MVP and that got me thinking a lot. Who is going to be the one holding up the MVP trophy a year from now? The 2018-2019 NBA season will be drastically different from the season we just experienced. Many new factors will play into account. Lebron James decision this summer will play a massive part. If Kawhi Leonard is traded plays a role. Teams getting healthy. And newly unexpected super teams being built all take affect on the MVP next season. I’ve narrowed a list down to my top 5 players who could win it next season. Then, I’ll decide who is most likely among them all to receive the award. There are obviously a few other players who could win it, but I go into detail on just a few.
There are a few reasons Lebron could win MVP. First, if he stays in Cleveland and does an even more tremendous job of carrying that horrid Cavs squad he’ll get great recognition. He nearly won it this year doing such a thing. Also, if Lebron leaves and carries a team that hasn’t been a title contender to being amazing it’ll bode extremely well for him too. The Lakers or Sixers are the two teams that are possibilities that he could do this with. Lastly, he’s the best damn player in the league. By far. Even if the Chosen One has a slight drop off next season, nobody is close to being as good as him in this league. Being the GOAT of this generation will always have Lebron in this conversation.
James Harden has finished top 2 in NBA voting 3 times. In those 3 times, he just won 1, this season. I believe he should have been celebrating his third MVP this season, but Harden’s my favorite NBA player so I’m ridiculously biased with him. Nonetheless, Harden finally got his trophy and might come out firing next year trying to go back to back. The Rockets are going to be really good again, and that only helps the beard’s case. Harden can play the exact same way he did this past season, and as long as other players aren’t stepping up, the voter fatigue won’t set in yet for him. Harden is a guy who can average nearly 40 points per game if he wants to and he just might to continue building his impressive legacy.
People forget that Kawhi is a top 3 player in this league when healthy. Better than Steph Curry, better than reigning MVP James Harden, and better than Anthony Davis. I believe he’s even better than Kevin Durant but that’s a super debatable topic. Kawhi wants to be traded and if he is he can similarly to Lebron, make a team relevant again. Unless he teams up with Lebron, Leonard will be the best player on any team he plays for. Also, after a season of injury and controversy, he’s going to want to prove his greatness once again. If he can lead a team to a top 3 seed in either conference, I believe he will be an MVP candidate once again.
Embiid is probably the most shocking name I have on this list. He’s coming off of a tremendous season with averages of 23ppg and 11rpg. Also, Joel Embiid just finished as the runner up for defensive player of the year. He can stretch the floor and is deceptively athletic for his size. If he can stay healthy, then his growth and development is going to be incredible come next season. When next season comes around we can be sure of one thing though, Embiid will win troll of the year award. Joel cannot win the award if Lebron joins the team unfortunately since Lebron will be THE guy of the squad.
The Celtics are going to be absolutely loaded next season. Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will be joining the team that went to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Irving is going to be the best player on the more than likely best team in the east. He can average 25ppg and 7apg on the number 1 seeded team. With that, he’ll automatically be a finalist for the award. To add, Kyrie will be going into free agency after next season, so he will want to play lights out to secure the biggest bag he can get.
My Choice for 2018-2019 NBA MVP: Joel Embiid
Definitely a wild take that I doubt many people would choose, but I’m going with Joel Embiid. First, he’s going to only develop into a better player over this summer being at such a young age. He can work on his post moves and become an unstoppable juggernaut. Ben Simmons will be getting a lot of the offensive attention meaning that Embiid will get all the shots he wants. Then, the Sixers will be a top 2 team in the Eastern Conference. It seems that Lebron will be leaving for the Western Conference, but even if he stays in Cleveland, the Sixers are a better team. Success has always mattered with MVP voting and is a large part of the reason why Harden just won it. Lastly, many of the other candidates are on or will be on super teams where it is harder to stand out and make their own claim for the trophy. Embiid will be leading a young and great team where he will get a majority of the credit for the success. Don’t be shocked if the troll from Philly is holding up the MVP trophy a year from now.
-Brandon Black (Follow @bhblack02)