For the most part, the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player Award is recognized as an accolade for regular-season accomplishments. Postseason success is not a prerequisite for a player to win the award.
If they blew past the competition in the regular season but then come up short in the playoffs, the MVP Award voters will still recognize the player’s success in the regular season. Overall, the word “most valuable” is used very loosely around the league when discussing who is the MVP of the NBA.
According to Vocabulary.com, the adjective meaning for the word “most valuable” states that “designating the player judged to be the most important to the sport.” So is the achievement based on what is accomplished on the court during the regular season? Or because of the value that they bring to their prospective teams?
Let’s take a look at seven players deemed the most valuable players in the NBA right now. These seven players are the essential individuals for the franchise right now. Without their contributions, the chances of team success in the future are slim to none.
7. Zion Williamson: New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson has been everything that the hype has expressed about him, dating back to his Duke University’s days. The New Orleans Pelicans are projected to become a force in the West once the proper resources are in place to contend. The Pelicans’ primary resource in Williamson is already there.
Currently, New Orleans is fighting to be one of the teams eligible for the NBA’s play-in tournament that was introduced during the Orlando Bubble last season. The former number one overall pick brings so many variables to the Pelicans arsenal that it makes them competitive against the NBA’s elite.
6. Luka Dončić: Dallas Mavericks
Luka Dončić has accomplished a lot in his short career with the Dallas Mavericks. Dončić won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award and was named to the All-NBA and All-Rookie Teams. The Mavericks are the seventh seed in the West right now. They are not deemed a severe threat to any of the contenders in the conference once the playoffs start. However, with the presence of Dončić on the floor for Dallas, you can expect the unexpected.
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks
The “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo brings so much value to the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team. The two-time MVP is the anchor that stabilizes other moving parts for the Bucks to contend for the East. We all saw how Milwaukee performed when Antetokounmpo could no longer participate in the postseason due to suffering a right ankle sprain versus the Miami Heat.
The Bucks would go on to lose the series 4-2. The team is better when the Greek Freak and fellow teammate Khris Middleton are on the court. The series versus Miami proved how important Antetokounmpo is to this franchise.
4. Chris Paul: Phoenix Suns
Everywhere that Chris Paul has played, the team immediately becomes relevant. CP3’s current stop with the Phoenix Suns is no different. The Suns are ranked number two in the Strike 7 Sports weekly NBA Power Rankings post. The team has also climbed to the second seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. Paul’s experience with being a floor general has a paid enormous dividends for the Suns this season.
3. Damian Lillard: Portland Trail Blazers
Over the years, Damian Lillard has carried the Portland Trail Blazers into the postseason without the bulk of a supporting cast. But not once has he ever complained about how he has to put the team’s weight on his shoulders. Every time Lillard steps on the court, you know that Portland will have a chance to win, and we would be in for a show.
2. Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors
It’s just that simple, Steph Curry is the identity of the Golden State Warriors. Players such as Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala have come and gone from the Golden State franchise. Despite the contributions from players Durant, Igoudala, or even Klay Thompson.
The Warriors do not win three out of the five NBA Finals appearances that the club played in dating back to 2014-2015 without the presence of Curry. His accuracy from behind the three-point-line is unmatched.
1. LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers
It is not even up for debate. LeBron James is the most valued player to his current team right now. James has a unique skill set of where he comes in and get’s the best product out of his supporting cast. Those skillsets are shown by his ability to become a distributor of the basketball.
Like Chris Paul, in every team that LeBron has been a part of, the team gets better immediately. There aren’t too many players throughout the history of the league that can directly impact a franchise such as LeBron James has done.
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