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USA Today Sports Media Group
Prince Grimes

2022-23 NBA MVP Ladder, Vol. 2: Giannis’ time off clears way for a new leader

With all due respect to the players doing incredible things on .500 teams, but winning games is important when it comes to naming an MVP.

So while I think it’s possible for players like Kevin Durant, De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton to make this list in the future, or even Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — who did make Vol. 1 — their play isn’t impacting winning enough yet. It took a monster 59-point outing for Joel Embiid to get a spot.

Luckily for everyone, we’re just four weeks into the season, so there’s still plenty of time to make MVP cases. These are the players with the best cases so far, with odds from BetMGM.

(Stats are prior to games on 11/14)

Place your bets at BetMGM

Bet on the NFL legally online in AZ, IL, KS, LA, MI, MS, NV, NY, OR, PA, TN, VA, WV, D.C., Ontario and elsewhere at BetMGM Sportsbook. 21+, see for Terms and conditions apply. Bet now!

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (+4000)

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

PPG: 23.5 | RPG: 6.4 | APG: 3.9 | SPG: 1.1

WS/48: .173 (34th)

Record: 7-6

The Pels need to do a little more winning if Williamson wants to stay on and climb this list.

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz (no odds)

AP Photo/Nick Wass

PPG: 21.8 | RPG: 8.6 | APG: 2.2

WS/48: .178 (28th)

Record: 10-5

Nobody deserves more credit for Utah’s stunning start to the season than Markkanen.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (+1000)

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

PPG: 32.3 | RPG: 10.1 | APG: 4.1 | BPG: 1.8

WS/48: .209 (11th)

Record: 7-7

Embiid was so dominant against Markkanen’s Jazz that Tyrese Maxey was overriding Doc Rivers’ plays to get him the ball.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (+4000)

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

PPG: 26.7 | RPG: 4.5 | APG: 5.6 | SPG: 1.0

WS/48: .166 (41st)

Record: 8-4

Booker took a step back Friday against Orlando but has otherwise been steady.

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (+3000)

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

PPG: 20.8 | RPG: 9.5 | APG: 8.9 | SPG: 1.5

WS/48: .285 (2nd)

Record: 9-4

This is what it looks like Jokic is doing less.

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (+1600)

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

PPG: 28.8 | RPG: 6.0 | APG: 7.0 | SPG: 1.0

WS/48: .175 (31st)

Record: 9-5

Morant has scored at least 28 points in three straight games.

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers (+2500)

AP Photo/José Luis Villegas

PPG: 31.6 | RPG: 4.7 | APG: 6.1 | SPG: 1.4

WS/48: .237 (6th)

Record: 8-5

Once Mitchell and Darius Garland get on the same page, Cleveland is going to be real dangerous.

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (+275)

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

PPG: 34.3 | RPG: 8.7 | APG: 8.1 | SPG: 2.0

WS/48: .294 (1st)

Record: 7-5

Doncic put together a 42-point triple-double on Saturday to help snap a two-game losing streak.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (+250)

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

PPG: 31.8 | RPG: 12.2 | APG: 5.3 | SPG: 1.1 | BPG: 1.4

WS/48: .272 (3rd)

Record: 10-2

He only slips a spot from the first ladder because of missed time due to knee soreness.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (+500)

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

PPG: 32.3 | RPG: 7.2 | APG: 4.1 | BPG: 1.3

WS/48: .233 (7th)

Record: 10-3

Tatum eclipsed 30 points in five of Boston’s six straight wins, including 43 in a win over Detroit on Saturday.

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