The NBA MVP ladder 2021-22 is everchanging. Multiple superstars have been playing their hearts out and voters are going to have a tough time trying to decide who is the Most Valuable Player of the 2021-22 season.
The NBA MVP rankings 2022 have changed throughout the year, with some of the usual names (i.e. LeBron James, Kevin Durant) not even in the picture right now. That has opened up the door for multiple youngsters to prove that they’re also MVP-caliber players.
As it usually happens, this year’s NBA MVP race has been a bit of a back-and-forth between two forces. Joel Embiid vs Nikola Jokic figures to be the battle at the top of the votes this year. That’s unless something drastic or a major injury makes people change their minds
NBA MVP ladder 2021-22
People don’t share the same criteria to determine who the MVP is. Sometimes, being the most valuable doesn’t mean being the best player. Sometimes, it goes to the best player on the best team in the league. And more often than not, someone gets snubbed.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the NBA MVP ladder 2021-22 and the 10 players who deserve the most consideration right now.
10. Donovan Mitchell
The NBA MVP ladder 2021-22 starts with one of the most underrated players in the Association. For some reason, people don’t bring Donovan Mitchell‘s name when talking about the rising stars in the league, even though he’s been on a roll since the start of the season.
Often drawing comparisons to Dwyane Wade, Mitchell has been the Utah Jazz’s driving force this year. His averages of 25.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game are nearly all career-highs and the Jazz are still a contender thanks to him and Rudy Gobert‘s defense.
9. Devin Booker
Just like with Donovan Mitchell, people often forget about Devin Booker. That’s the curse and the burden that comes with playing for a small market team like the Phoenix Suns. But Booker continues to prove his doubters wrong and work in the shadows to demonstrate that he’s a winner.
Booker is the leading scorer on the team with the best record in the league. That should be considered enough to put him near the top of the NBA MVP rankings 2022. Throughout the season, he’s shined with averages of 25.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.5 dimes per game.
8. Luka Doncic
Somehow, someway, it seems like we already got used to Luka Doncic doing spectacular things and posting videogame-like numbers. But there’s nothing normal about nearly averaging a triple-double through your first three years in the NBA.
Doncic hasn’t exactly taken a step up this season but it’s not like he’s regressed. He averages a whopping 27.0 points on 44.8% shooting. He also grabs 9 rebounds and hands out 9 assists per game, all while working under a new offensive system. He’s the real deal and will lead the NBA MVP race multiple times in his career.
7. Ja Morant
Not so long ago, Ja Morant didn’t even have any D1 offers. Now, he’s seventh in the NBA MVP ladder 2021-22. That’s how hard he’s worked to prove to the world that he’s a special talent, and that’s how much of a driving force he’s become in the league.
With Morant leading the way, the Memphis Grizzlies never became an average rebuilding team. Despite their youth and lack of experience, they’re still the third-best team in the Western Conference. And his averages of 26.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game don’t reflect his impact and leadership on the court.
6. Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry‘s fall from grace hasn’t been enough to take him away from the NBA MVP rankings 2022. If anything, his shooting slump just reaffirms the importance of Draymond Green to the Golden State Warriors’ offense and further proves that he’s human.
The greatest shooter of all time was the main catalyst behind the Warriors’ resurgence this season. He continues to do ridiculous things with the rock on his hand and every bad shot is a good shot for him. He’s averaging 25.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game this year.
5. Chris Paul
People counted the Point God out and he responded with two of the best seasons of his career. Chris Paul is ageless and he continues to put up a passing and playmaking clinic every time he’s on the floor. Everybody on Earth knows he’s going to do that rip-through move, yet no one can stop him from doing it.
Paul’s average of 14.9 points per game may not be impressive. But let’s not ignore the fact that Steve Nash had a similar scoring average when he won MVP. Moreover, Paul is leading the league with 10.7 assists per game, all while shooting 48% from the floor and playing elite defense in the backcourt.
4. DeMar DeRozan
Some analysts claimed that DeMar DeRozan was the worst and most overpaid signing of the offseason. Fast forward to today and he’s again been one of the best scorers in the league. Even with the Chicago Bulls struggling with multiple injuries, they have counted on him to close out games night in and night out.
DeRozan continues to climb his way into the NBA MVP ladder 2021-22. He broke Wilt Chamberlain‘s record of scoring 35+ points on 50%+ shooting in seven straight games. Throughout the season, the former Raptors star has posted averages of 28.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game on an absurd 51.7% shooting.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Now that his jump shot is starting to fall more consistently, it seems like there’s nothing that Giannis Antetokounmpo can’t do. He’s once again leading the Milwaukee Bucks in nearly every major category, yet somehow it ceased to be a surprise. We’re used to him putting up 30+ with 15+ rebounds. That’s not normal at all.
Unlike some of the players in the NBA MVP race, Giannis also plays defense. He’s one of the few players who can guard one through five, and the reigning champions will be contenders for as long as he’s healthy. He’s averaging 29.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game on 54.7% from the floor.
2. Nikola Jokic
The Denver Nuggets need to get Nikola Jokic some help in the buyout market. Even without Jamal Murray or Michael Porter Jr., the Joker continues to prove why he’s the reigning MVP. He’s single-handedly willing the Nuggets to the playoffs and having the best season of his career.
Jokic has become a more aggressive scorer and a more vocal leader. He’s taking charges, drawing plays, and orchestrating one of the league’s most entertaining and balanced offenses. So far, he’s averaged 26.0 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists per game on 57% shooting. That’s just ridiculous.
1. Joel Embiid
And last but not least, Joel Embiid sits at the top of the NBA MVP ladder 2021-22, but it’s not like it was a landslide. The Joel Embiid versus Nikola Jokic debate will live on until the end of the season, with the Sixers star having a small edge thanks to his tenacious defense.
The Philadelphia 76ers gave Embiid a top-notch weapon in James Harden and one can only wonder how dominant that one-two punch can be. He’s averaging 29.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game on 49.1% from the floor. Imagine now what he’ll be able to do with Harden drawing double teams in the perimeter.
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