NBA MVP Sleepers
With the NBA regular season quickly coming to a close, every superstar is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to vault their team into the playoffs.
The race for the MVP Award has been an intriguing one this season. Joel Embiid and Steph Curry looked like favorites for a while, but after injuries and other factors, one player has maintained his lead in this race: Nikola Jokic.
Jokic has continued to shine even with the season-ending injury to Jamal Murray. The 6-foot-11-inch center is keeping the Nuggets afloat in the difficult Western Conference by leading his team in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
While there are a ton of talented players vying for the NBA’s highest individual honor, there are a few athletes that are not getting their due respect. In fact, there are plenty of sleepers that could make a late run at this award.
Here are three of the top candidates to make a run at the NBA MVP Award, all with odds over +10000 on FanDuel.
Julius Randle- PF, Knicks (+12000):
The New York Knicks are enjoying success this season that they haven’t seen in quite a while, and Julius Randle is a major reason why there is hope in New York.
Randle is averaging career highs in 3-point percentage, rebounds, assists, steals and points per game. The former Kentucky forward is exploding this season, and he has helped the Knicks climb out of the pit of mediocrity into the land of prosperity.
Randle is helping get everyone involved, and his ability to score all over the floor is one of the main factors that helped propel him towards his first all-star appearance this year.
Could Randle walk away with the MVP Award for bringing his team out of the basement of the Eastern Conference?
Chris Paul- PG, Suns (+14000):
The 35-year-old guard continues to excel and lead his team to new heights. The Suns are currently second place in the Western Conference, and Chris Paul is one of the major catalysts of Phoenix’s offense.
While Paul may not be an elite scorer that will dominate stat sheets with points, Paul will stuff those sheets with steals and assists. Paul forces guards to turn the ball over with his quick hands, and he then is able to find his teammates with ease, always getting the best shot possible.
Paul is able to catalyze the entire Suns offense, and he gets other talented stars like Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton involved in a major way. Paul’s selfless play galvanizes the entire Suns offense.
Chris Paul is one of the best facilitators in NBA history, and his ability to pass the ball is a major reason why the Suns are poised to make a run at the NBA Finals.
Donovan Mitchell- SG, Jazz (+16000):
When you talk about the most valuable players in the NBA, you need to include the top scorer on the team with the best record.
Donovan Mitchell is averaging a career high 26.4 points per game this season. He is also averaging a career high in assists (5.2) and rebounds (4.4) per game, as well.
The former Louisville guard is keeping the Jazz atop the Western Conference and is a major reason why this franchise has enjoyed recent success.
Mitchell may not be a frontrunner for the MVP Award, but he deserves a lot more credit for his impressive play this year.
Eric Fenstermaker is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Eric Fenstermaker is a senior from Northampton, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is also minoring in business and sports studies and pursuing a certificate in sports journalism.
Eric is involved in After the Whistle and Penn State Sports Night (PSSN). For COMM Radio, Eric contributes to a variety of different podcasts and co-hosts the Hail Mary radio show, which is dedicated to analyzing NFL games.