NBA: Can Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Win the MVP Award?

Kahfeel Buchanan
Kahfeel Buchanan
Sports Betting News
NBA: Can Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Win the MVP Award?

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the best Canadian basketball player in the world right now. Can he win the NBA MVP award to cement his legacy as one of the greatest Canadian basketball players of all time?

Quick Take

  • Jokic and Gilgeous-Alexander the betting favourites to win 2023/2024 MVP by huge margin
  • Last Canadian to win MVP was Steve Nash in 2006
  • Gilgeous-Alexander’s MVP case

Nikola Jokic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the MVP race

With a little over two weeks left in the 2024 NBA regular season, it looks like the regular season MVP award will go to either Nikola Jokic or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Jokic and Gilgeous-Alexander are the two betting favourites by a wide margin on the NBA betting sites. No other player has odds that are even close.

Jokic leads the way and stands alone as the clear front-runner to win the MVP at the moment. Jokic has -1250 odds to win the award on Sports Interaction. Gilgeous-Alexander seems, based on the odds and how the season has played out so far, like the only other player with a realistic shot at the award right now. Gilgeous-Alexander has +1100 odds to win regular season MVP.  The next closest player is Luka Doncic. Doncic is at +2000. There is a huge gap after that. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum have the fourth and fifth best odds. Antetokounmpo is at +10000, and Tatum has the same odds at +10000.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s case for the award

If Gilgeous-Alexander wins the NBA’s 2023/2024 regular season award, he would be the first Canadian to win the award since Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash won the award in 2005 and 2006. Since then five point guards have won the award, including James Harden in 2018. The award also went to nine forwards and three centers since Nash last won it.

Gilgeous-Alexander definitely has a good case for the award this season, much stronger than last year which resulted in a fifth place finish thanks to 46 total voting points. To even be considered for the regular season MVP award, players need to have great stats and a good team record. Gilgeous-Alexander has both this year. Last season he had the numbers, but his team missed the playoffs and were under .500, 40-42. He has played in 70 games so far, five more than needed to qualify for an award.

The numbers

The Oklahoma City Thunder would tie with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the second best record in the Western Conference and third best record in the league if the season ended today. 50 wins, their current total, should be more than enough wins for Gilgeous-Alexander to be a top candidate for the award regardless of what happens in the final weeks of the season.

Gilgeous-Alexander currently leads the league in steals with 2.1 per game and is third in points per game at 30.4 while shooting an impressive 54% from the field. Gilgeous-Alexander is also 16th in assists per game right now. Outside of the numbers, his MVP case is strong because he has led a young and inexperienced team to the top of the Western Conference standings. On paper, the Oklahoma City Thunder have one of the worst starting lineups among west teams that are currently in the playoffs. Other than Gilgeous-Alexander, no player in the Thunder’s starting lineup has won a major award, been selected to the All-Star team, played in the playoffs, or made any of the three All-NBA teams. Their players have potential, but none of them have established themselves as a star in the league yet.

Because of all of this, he should have shot and is still in the mix with Jokic. The Thunder have 10 games remaining on their schedule. Jokic was also the MVP betting favourite heading into the final month of the regular season last year. Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid would go on to win the award, his first MVP. Gilgeous-Alexander is in a similar spot, so the last 10 games could be the deciding factor. A few more great games could be enough to win the award, especially if Jokic struggles. If the Thunder finish with the best record in the west, the voters will have a lot to think about. But if Jokic finishes the season averaging a triple-double, he will probably take home the award.