NBA Scouts & Executives Predict 2023 MVP Winner

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Over at ESPN, a panel of 15 scouts, coaches and executives around the NBA were put together to poll some questions for a survey. They made picks answering things about this the offseason, the upcoming season and the future.

Some of the questions generated similar answers from everyone, while others drummed up some serious debate. Arguably the most opinionated question was, who will be the MVP for the 2022-23 season?

There were five different players selected, but numerous other ones were mentioned as potential candidates. Leading the way is two-time MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks with five votes. It is hard to argue against that, especially with how he has played for Greece in EuroBasket preparation.

Tied for second on the list are Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers with four votes apiece. Doncic is primed to win at least one MVP in his career, as he is already in the discussion yearly despite entering only his fifth season in the NBA.

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Embiid has gotten very close the last two seasons, finishing as a runner-up to Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, who has won back-to-back MVPs. Speaking of Jokic, none of the people polled selected him to win the award a third straight time. Larry Bird in 1984, 1985 and 1986 was the last three-peat and for Jokic to achieve that, something truly remarkable would have to occur.

Rounding out the list with one vote each were Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Curry represents the old guard, as he is the oldest player to receive a vote at 34 years old. Even at his age, he has plenty left in the tank as he won the NBA Finals MVP during the Warriors’ victory over the Boston Celtics.

Morant has quickly ascended the ranks as the Grizzlies have transformed into one of the best teams in the NBA since he was selected No. 2 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. Health and the overall strength of his team will be the biggest obstacles to overcome. Morant missed 25 games and Memphis kept rolling, going 20-5 in those games.

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Every player that received a vote is certainly worth consideration, but there will be other players likely making a run at the award during the season as well. Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics is approaching that level. Kevin Durant will be motivated with the Brooklyn Nets. If LeBron James performs at the level he did last season and the Los Angeles Lakers improve, he will be right there as well.