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Can Jayson Tatum win MVP?

Could the Boston Celtics star shine the brightest in the NBA next season?

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get really ambitious. Jayson Tatum has been progressing in his career to the point where he’s considered one of the best in the game. He just led his team to the NBA Finals, he’s one of the best scorers in the league, he has a great all-around game, and he’s emerging as one of the faces of the league.

But will he perform well enough to be the MVP?

Poll

Will Jayson Tatum win MVP this season?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Yes
    (114 votes)
  • 51%
    No, but he’ll be a top 3 finalist
    (319 votes)
  • 30%
    No (not a top 3 finalist either)
    (186 votes)
619 votes total Vote Now

Tatum seems to have a habit of starting off slow and building momentum throughout the year. His slow start to the year last year effectively took him out of any MVP discussions before the season really got underway. What if he starts off stronger this year?

What if the Celtics are sitting at the top of the standings at the end of the year and Tatum is leading the way in scoring and still playing exceptional defense? That isn’t to take away from the contributions of his teammates, but generally the best player on the best team gets a long look at the MVP award.

Of course, there are competitors that would make any MVP race close all year long. Back-to-back winner Nikola Jokic will likely be back (with a more-healthy team this time). Joel Embiid had a case for winning the award last year as well. Giannis Antetokounmpo has a case every year. A bounce back year could be coming for LeBron James. I wouldn’t rule out Steph Curry either. Then there’s other newcomers to this race, like Ja Morant and Luka Doncic.

There’s a lot of politics involved in the MVP race, so there has to be a compelling “story” around his case. Maybe the narrative will be that coming up short in the Finals fueled his drive to be the best in the league.

So what do you think? Will he win MVP? If not, who do you think will win? Who should be the top 3?