The 2023 NBA Most Valuable Player race is wide open, as
evidenced by the ever-shifting odds. Since the start of the season,
four different players have been listed as the MVP favorite at some
In October, Luka Doncic had the best odds. In November, Giannis
Antetokounmpo became the favorite. In December, Jayson Tatum
narrowly took the lead. This month, Nikola Jokic has emerged as the
Jokic (-110) currently has the best odds, as he tries to win his
third-straight MVP award, followed by Doncic (+430), Tatum (+700),
Joel Embiid (+800) and Antetokounmpo (+1100).
Earlier this week, Tatum weighed in on the MVP race.
“There’s a lot of talented guys – guys having tremendous years
and putting up great numbers. You’ve got Jokic, Embiid, Luka,
Giannis…" Tatum said. "There’s a lot of great guys having great
years on great teams.
"I think winning plays a part [in the MVP race] so, for me, it's
just continue to play at a high level and continue to help my team
win and at the end of the year, what’s supposed to happen will
happen. And we’ll go from there.”
Tatum is having an excellent season, posting career-highs in
points (31.0), rebounds (8.6), assists (4.4) and three-pointers
(3.3). The 24-year-old has also been incredibly efficient, posting
the best True Shooting percentage of his career (61.1%).
His trainer, Drew Hanlen, recently spoke to Basketball
News about Tatum's offseason training.
“When we look at the last couple years, he hasn't really had
offseasons as much,” Hanlen told me in July. “The one year, they go
in the Bubble and they go all the way to the Eastern Conference
Finals; we had like two weeks that offseason and then he goes and
plays and he starts off really slow.
"Then, [the next summer], he goes to play with USA Basketball
and wins a gold medal; we have a couple-week offseason and he
starts really slow. This year, we finally had a full offseason so
that he can start the season strong instead of kind of working his
Tatum has led the Celtics to an NBA-best 35-14 record. Boston
currently boasts the NBA's third-best offense (scoring 115.3 points
per 100 possessions) and seventh-best defense (allowing 109.3
points per 100 possessions).