Joel Embiid has come up shy of winning the NBA MVP award season after season despite putting up some of the best numbers in the league. With back-to-back wins from Nikola Jokic in 2021 and 2022, and Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2019 and 2020, Embiid has continued to be the 'odd man out'.
During a recent interview with BallySports, Perkins spoke about his hopes for the dynamic duo of Embiid & Harden. He explained why the 2023 NBA MVP Award is Embiids to lose.
"He's already the walk-in as the heavy favorite. I think just averaging a cool 26 and 10, 26 and 11, having one of the best records in the NBA he gonna get it done. And I strongly believe this, James Harden is going to help him get it done."
Perkins doesn't expect Harden to focus on his own numbers as much as getting teammates like Embiid involved in the game. Harden's MVP days are officially behind him. He is motivated to win his first-ever NBA title and will embrace the role of facilitator and sidekick if it helps the team in the long run.
Last season saw the 2018 NBA MVP get dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline. He didn't find immediate success in Philly, but the move has given fans hope heading into 2022-23. The team's success isn't guaranteed, but their ceiling is much higher with Harden on the roster.
After all, it's much better than watching Ben Simmons choke in the playoffs and play timid basketball.
Will Joel Embiid Finally Win An NBA MVP Award?
There are high hopes for the Philadelphia 76ers this season. It's championship or bust.
The addition of James Harden provides the franchise with another superstar level talent to play alongside Joel Embiid.
PJ Tucker, who signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Sixers, gives the team leadership and a veteran presence that can either start or come off the bench. The signing was only possible because Harden declined his $47 million player option and took less money to free up cap space.
You also can't forget about Tyrese Maxey's rise to stardom, and Tobias Harris' ability to go off for 20+ points on any given game. Only time will tell whether the Sixers finally break through this season.
Another interesting tidbit: Joel Embiid is entering the final season of a five-year $147 million dollar contract, and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023. So if the Sixers fall flate in the playoffs again, it could sway Embiid to take his talents elsewhere.
The Philadelphia 76ers open their 2022-23 season against the Boston Celtics on October 18.