There’s nothing like a good “MVP” chant.
Each of the names on Nick Wright’s latest MVP ladder have been serenaded multiple times this season, and each likely believes he has a résumé worthy of bringing home the award come season’s end.
But only one man’s name can be engraved into the Maurice Podloff Trophy, and right now, Wright’s front-runner for the honor might come as a massive surprise.
Here’s how the “First Things First” host’s current ladder stacks up, with all odds provided via FOX Bet.
Joel Embiid and Luka Dončić top Nick Wright’s MVP Ladder I FIRST THINGS FIRST
Nick Wright may not have an MVP vote, but he does have an MVP Ladder. Watch to see where players like Joel Embiid, Luka Dončić and Ja Morant land in Nick’s MVP rankings for the 2021-2022 season.
6. DeMar Derozan, Chicago Bulls
Season stats: 28 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 5.1 APG | Team record: 41-27 (fourth in East)
MVP odds: +6600
Wright’s thoughts: “Not one person saw this coming. Not his family, not Gregg Popovich, not Zach LaVine. Derozan for his career is 20 PPG, 46% shooting. At age 32, he goes to Chicago and is 28 per game and 50% shooting. It’s an amazing accomplishment. He deserves to be in the conversation. “
5. Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets
Season stats: 26 PPG, 13.8 RPG, 8.1 APG | Team record: 41-28 (sixth in West)
MVP odds: +175
Wright’s thoughts: “Last year, I had him second. This year I have him fifth. He could move up slightly. What he has going for him is obviously he’s carrying the Nuggets. What he doesn’t have going for him, and the reason he’s not higher, is he’s carrying them to a game out of the play-in. Listen, the guy’s averaging nearly a triple-double for a six-seed that’s going to win 47 games, but it’s not like we’d ever give the MVP to someone like that and regret it. Oh wait, that’s exactly what they did with Russell Westbrook. “
4. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
Season stats: 27.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 6.7 APG | Team record: 48-22 (second in West)
MVP odds: +4000
Wright’s thoughts: “Wildes calls him the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. You know what I call him? A culture changer. Raise your hand if you had Memphis as the No. 2 seed at the beginning of the year. Everyone put your hands down, you ‘re all lying. Ja leads them in points, assists, steals, minutes, and he’s second on the team in rebounds. He’s been spectacular. “
3. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Season stats: 29.9 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 4.3 APG Team record: 41-26 (third in East)
MVP odds: -200
Wright’s thoughts: “Joel Embiid might win the thing. He’s been awesome, and his defensive presence is underrated when we talk about him vs. Jokić, because Jokić has the best defensive BPM. Embiid needs to have a big finishing kick, and I don’t think he’s going to get it. “
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Season stats: 29.7 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 5.9 APG Team record: 43-26 (second in East)
MVP odds: +900
Wright’s thoughts: “Is he underrated? I think he might be. He averages 30, 12 and six, and answers the bell like the best player in the league is supposed to for the big games. Opening night of the year against Brooklyn, he hangs a 32 , 14 and seven, and blows them out. On Christmas against Boston, a 36, 12 and five. Both games against LeBron this year: 44 and 47. He shows up for the big moments. He’s the best player in the league. You could argue this should be the fourth straight year he wins MVP. “
1. Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks
Season stats: 28 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 8.6 APG Team record: 42-26 (fifth in West)
MVP odds: +5000
Wright’s thoughts: “[He’s averaging] 28, nine and nine for the season. That’s been done by a couple of people you might know: Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook. However, in the last two months, how about 30, 10 and eight? How about since Christmas, the Mavs have the third-best record in basketball? How about since Christmas, the Mavs have 13 wins against current top-six playoff teams? He’s carrying them. Luka’s been the best player in basketball this year. “
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