NBA 2022-23 MVP Predictions
Tip-off for the 2022-2023 NBA season will soon be underway, which means it is the perfect time to predict who will win this season's MVP award.
Ben’s prediction: Joel Embiid
Is the third time the charm for the former third-overall draft pick?
After back-to-back second-place MVP finishes, Embiid and 76ers fans hope this is the year he can bring the MVP back to Philadelphia for the first time since the 2000-01 season when Allen Iverson captured the award.
Embiid is arguably coming off his best season as a pro. The All-NBA Second Team selection won the scoring title last season, averaging 30.6 points per game and becoming the first center to win the scoring title since Shaquille O’Neal won it in the 1999-2000 season.
Embiid also grabbed 11.4 rebounds and dished out 3.3 assists per game. While on the defensive end, he averaged 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game.
Embiid’s game could go to an even higher level this season with the increased talent around him.
Last season’s major mid-season acquisition, James Harden, re-signed on a team-friendly deal allowing the 76ers to sign P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. to round out a supporting cast headlined by Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris.
If the 76ers can grab the Eastern Conference’s top seed, expect Embiid to be heavily involved in the MVP conversation.
Chris’ prediction: Luka Dončić
Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks come into the season after reaching the Western Conference Finals last postseason. They lost in five games to the Golden State Warriors, but the Mavs showed they can be a legitimate contender in the West.
If the Mavericks can obtain a high seed in the Western Conference and if Dončić can stay healthy, he has arguably the best chance in the league to win the MVP award.
With the offseason acquisition of Christian Wood and the return of Tim Hardaway Jr., the Mavericks have built a solid core in their system that revolves around Dončić. However, he clearly remains their best player and is the driving force of that team.
Dončić had another great season last year, finishing the regular season with 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists. Additionally, he led the league in usage percentage with 37.3%, which means he scored or assisted on the largest portion of his team’s points.
Being only 23 years old, Dončić still has tremendous potential. If he can bump up his numbers even more and carry his team to the playoffs, he will have one of the best MVP campaigns out there.
Nolan’s prediction: Jayson Tatum
The NBA is a league that thrives off of narratives. Storylines dominate the inner workings of the league, especially when it comes to media members voting on awards. This season, I don’t think any narrative will be stronger than the Jayson Tatum MVP push.
The first thing you need to be an MVP is to be on a good team. The only player to ever win the award and not be on a playoff team was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976. Luckily enough, Tatum is on a very talented Celtics team that just made a Finals run.
Last year, the league average defensive rating across all teams was 112.5 points per 100 possessions. The Celtics had the best defensive rating in the league at 106.9. Tatum’s offensive game is also set to improve this year, as the addition of Malcolm Brogdon as a point guard will allow more off-ball movement for Tatum, resulting in more open shots.
The other step to win an MVP, as mentioned before, is to have a narrative on why you deserve to win, and Tatum clearly has a case. This offseason, former Celtic’s coach Ime Udoka was fired after an inappropriate relationship between him and an employee was discovered.
Ukoda was vital to the Celtic’s historic late-season turnaround, going 28-7 in their last 35 games. Now, the Celtics will have to look elsewhere for their leadership. This is Tatum’s chance to step up as the true leader of this team with high hopes. If Tatum shows once again that he is the top dog on a team in title contention, it’s going to be hard to deny him this award.
Brady’s prediction: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Coming into this year, there are a few players who stand out as MVP candidates. Giannis Antetokounmpo stands out as one of the clear favorites, having dominated the league in recent years. He averaged 29.9 PPG along with 11.6 rebounds per game and 5.8 assists last season.
After winning the MVP award in both 2019 and 2020 Giannis has fallen short in the past two years, with Denver Nuggets Center Nikola Jokic taking home the honor. Regardless of this, Antetokounmpo has been very impressive in both seasons just falling short in the MVP race.
The odds before this season have Giannis as the third favorite behind Dončić and Embiid. The main factor behind Antetekounmpo’s MVP run relies on the success of the Milwaukee Bucks. Heading into the season, this team remains relatively similar to the team that fell short in the Conference Finals last year. The Bucks seem primed for another good season and playoff run as they look to replicate their championship season in 2020-2021.
As the season begins, look for this Bucks team to continue to play through Giannis, who enters his 10th season in the NBA. He has only looked more dominant as his career progressed and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Ben Palillo is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email email@example.com.
Christopher Reynolds is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nolan Collery is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email email@example.com.
Brady McCormick is a third-year majoring in Telecommunications. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
/ Broadcast Journalism
Nolan Collery is a first-year student at Penn State, majoring in Broadcast Journalism. This is his first semester as a member of CommRadio, where he creates content for the sports department. Outside of CommRadio, Nolan is a member of CommMedia’s After The Whistle, as well as a PSNTv Network member, where he hosts ‘Hot Takery’ on Penn State Sports Night. Outside of his schoolwork, Nolan likes to play flag football, miss open layups at the IM building, and take long walks on the beach.