#3 Devin Booker
Devin Booker played a big part in the Phoenix Suns' run to the NBA Finals. Despite being his first playoff appearance, Booker showed great maturity and helped the Suns muscle their way through the finals. He averaged 27.3 PPG on 44.7 % shooting from the field. His insane determination to play on the biggest stage was visible when he walked out to play with a broken nose during the series against the Clippers.
The loss in the finals was a tough one to swallow for Booker, but he kept that behind him and went on to win the Gold medal for USA during the Tokyo Olympics. With Chris Paul signing an extension, the Phoenix Suns once again look like a legit championship-contending team.
Booker is key to their chances if they want to make a deep run into the playoffs. After an incredible 2020-21 season, he will be hoping to repeat his brilliance and put in the necessary work to once again make a trip to the playoffs. D-Book has always been a huge Kobe fan. If the youngster channelizes the inner Mamba inside him and reaches the potential best that is expected out of him, he stands a chance of making a run at the MVP trophy.
#2 Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is one of the best point guards in the league. His ability to pull a three from nearly anywhere on the court makes him a special talent. However, Lillard's career has been plagued by early exits in the playoffs. That trend continued last season, as the Portland Trail Blazers were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by the Denver Nuggets.
Despite the loss, Lillard was on the receiving end of appreciation from the fans as he put up a stunning effort to help the Blazers into the next round. Dame averaged an incredible 34.3 PPG on a jaw-dropping 44.9% shooting from beyond the three-point line. He also put up one of the best shooting performances in the playoffs as he went 12-17 from the three-point line during his 55 point performance in Game 2 against Denver.
After much speculation, Lillard confirmed that he would be staying with the Blazers this season. The appointment of new coach Chauncey Billups is expected to bring a lot more defensive stability to the team. If things work right for the Blazers and Lillard puts up another stellar season, he stands a chance of winning his first MVP trophy at the end of the 2021-22 season.
#1 Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic has cemented his name as a superstar in the league after just three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. The Serbian has gone from strength to strength since his rookie of the year achievement and very quickly became the face of the Mavs franchise. He once again proved his brilliance last season as he was part of the All-NBA first team for the second time in his career.
Luka elevated his game in the playoffs to average 35.7 PPG during the series against the Clippers. However, he lacked support from his team, which led to the Mavs' first-round exit. His entry into the All-NBA team helped Doncic get a lucrative 5 year $207 million extension.
Dallas rewarded the youngster with a massive contract as they believe that Luka is the player that will help the franchise to further glory. His slow start to the season and brilliance from Jokic were the reasons that cost Doncic the MVP trophy during the 2020-21 season. However, Doncic will be hoping to make this time count by putting up a brilliant season and winning his first MVP trophy.
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