It's safe to say the NBA is still in the LeBron James era. The phenom has dominated the game like no one else in history. Winning four regular-season MVP awards, LeBron is part of an elite club of players who will go down as the greatest players of their generation.
As the NBA ushers in a new decade this season, it is time to look at the next generation of superstars that will take up the mantle in the coming years. Looking at the pool of talent that is on the rise, it's safe to say that the NBA is only going to get bigger and better.
5 NBA players primed to enter the MVP scene over the next decade
Fans can see how the game has evolved over the decades and how modern-day stars break traditional rules and play the game their way. In the past, MVP titles have been dominated by guards and wing players. However, with the emergence of crafty bigs like Nikola Jokic, all that could change in the near future.
Winning the MVP award is one of the most prestigious accolades every NBA player dreams of. Receiving this honor means they have become the face of the association and will undoubtedly attract other star-caliber players to join them in an effort to win the grand prize.
Now is the time to shine a light on the next batch of generational talents that will rule the NBA. Without further ado, here are the top five MVP caliber candidates who could win the award over the next decade.
#1 Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
At 22 years of age, Luka Doncic already has two All-Star selections to his name. The Slovenian phenomenon is also a front-runner for the MVP title in just his third year in the league.
Playing an all-round game, Luka has been able to make an impact on both ends of the NBA hardwood. He has a large frame for a point guard and does not shy away from taking full advantage of his mismatch against smaller guards.
While Doncic's three-point shooting percentage is not where he would like it to be, he nevertheless has been able to drill game-winning long-range treys without any hesitation.
Doncic is undoubtedly the leading candidate for the MVP title on this list. This season, he is averaging a near triple-double with 28.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.9 assists on 48.8% shooting from the field. The 22-year-old has registered nine triple-doubles this campaign and could easily increase this tally before the season concludes.
#2 Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Reaching the 2020 Western Conference Finals by defeating heavyweight teams on the way has done wonders for Nikola Jokic's confidence. The Joker has taken a massive leap in one season as he is filling up the stat sheet with incredible numbers on a nightly basis.
Jokic, with the exception of Joel Embiid, is the only big man with the talent and the numbers to qualify for the MVP title.
The Serbian has been labeled as a point guard in a center's body, as he can throw eye-popping dimes on the fly. Another quality that separates Jokic from traditional big men in the post is his silky smooth shooting ability.
The three-time All-Star is shooting the ball at a phenomenal 56.7% accuracy from the field this season. Beyond his scoring, Jokic is adding 11 rebounds while dishing out 8.4 assists per game.
#3 Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans)
Zion Williamson has announced his arrival to the basketball world this season. After a shaky rookie year where he was restricted due to injury, Zion has now proven his mettle as an elite NBA talent.
Williamson could find his way into the MVP debate in the near future. The sophomore has a lethal combination of size and skill that makes him a difficult matchup on both ends of the court.
Williamson's talents have been on full display this season, and he is blossoming into a generational talent under coach Stan Van Gundy's guidance. Zion has already given us glimpses of his stupendous power that he uses to tear through the defense.
As he develops his game further, it's becoming increasingly scary to imagine how good Zion will be five years down the line. This season, the 20-year-old is averaging 26.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on a mind-blowing 62.4% shooting efficiency from the field.
#4 Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Jayson Tatum is arguably a step or two away from the MVP debate at the moment. That being said, he is the most experienced star on this list, with ample playoff experience under his belt.
At just 23 years of age, Tatum has received two All-Star selections and continues to raise his ceiling with each passing season. However, it remains to be seen if he can find that extra gear and elevate his game to the next level - something that could bring him into the MVP debate.
Like other stars on this list, Tatum boasts of a complete game that allows him to contribute on both ends of the court. He has become the face of the Boston Celtics franchise and has enjoyed relative success with them thus far into his career.
This season, Tatum is averaging a stellar 25.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists on a 45% shooting display from the field and 37.8% shooting accuracy from beyond the arc.
#5 Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
Devin Booker wreaked havoc with his stellar displays in the NBA Bubble last season, leading his Phoenix Suns to eight straight wins. In this campaign, Booker has virtually picked things up right where he left them, as he is posting impressive numbers across the board.
Booker is certainly an underrated NBA talent; King James took to Twitter to shine a light on the matter too. The basketball gods obliged as Booker earned his second All-Star appearance this season.
Lining up alongside veteran Chris Paul, Booker has been able to play the game with more confidence. He has been the driving force behind the Phoenix Suns' success and is looking primed to end their long-standing playoff drought.
At just 24 years of age, the sky is the limit for this talented young guard, who could easily find his way into the MVP debate in the future.
In 43 appearances for the Suns this season, Booker is averaging 25.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds on a terrific 49.5% shooting from the field. His shooting accuracy from the charity stripe is an impressive 85% too.