NBA 2019-20: 3 bold predictions for the MVP award
With the NBA regular season now only a month away, teams are gearing up for yet another ride as they assign roles based on the talent distribution on their respective rosters. In the backdrop of a quirky offseason, experts and analyst predictions are all over the place. However, one constant among the heap of variables is presented by the distinctive talent pool consisting of injury-free, fit players raring to go.
As far as the MVP award goes, recent seasons hold ample proof the hardware has not been monopolised by a certain someone through the years. So naturally, the possibility of a newer deserving candidate emerging during the upcoming campaign can never be ruled out.
With that in mind, it makes sense to count other megastars not named LeBron, Giannis, Harden, Kawhi or Curry for the coveted award. With that in mind, here's a trio of bold but sensible projections ahead of 2019/20 - who all have something to prove:
#3 Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard took his time, but an eventual arrival on basketball's world stage has been announced loud and clear over the past few seasons. A four-time All-Star, he quickly established himself as the Trail Blazers' leading scorer after being drafted as the sixth overall pick in 2012.
Naturally, the franchise placed their utmost faith in the point-guard's talents, retaining him through thick and thin - including five successive seasons without a proper postseason run. However, their expensive gamble has paid dividends of mammoth magnitude in recent years.
Lillard has averaged at least 26 points and 6.6 assists per game for the past two seasons, on over 44% shooting from the floor. Evolving into one of the most efficient long-range shooters league-wide, he posts reliable conversion rates from deep on a consistent basis, particularly in crunch situations.
Possessing the heart of a champion with nerves to justify his clutch play, it'd be no surprise if he was named the 2019/20 MVP given the right circumstances as part of an unpredictable Western Conference.