Giannis Antetokounmpo is several days removed from winning the NBA Finals MVP.
He will go for his third regular season MVP in four seasons when the 2021-22 season tips off in the fall. Antetokounmpo, who won the award in 2019 and 2020, opened with the fourth-shortest odds in the betting market.
Offshore sportsbook BetOnline released a full slate of MVP odds on Wednesday. Dallas guard Luka Doncic has opened as the favorite for the second year in a row. He came up short in 2020, but he is priced as the +450 ‘chalk’ to win his first MVP.
Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant dealt with injury issues this season, but he might be the best player in the NBA. Durant has the second-shortest odds in the MVP market at +500. Durant was the 2014 MVP, averaging 32 points and 7.4 rebounds during that season with Oklahoma City.
Steph Curry, a two-time winner of the award, is priced at +650. Antetokounmpo is +700, while Joel Embiid (+850) and LeBron James (+900) are both in the mix as well.
Nikola Jokic won the 2021 MVP award, but oddsmakers are not expecting a repeat performance. He is priced at 12/1 to defend his crown. Jokic averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists for the Nuggets.
One of the headlines going into the offseason is what the Lakers will do to address their point guard situation. They failed to sign Dennis Schroder to a contract extension, so they can sign him to a new deal and/or look elsewhere.
Los Angeles has “been on the hunt” for a veteran point guard, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. He reported that Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook are both potential options.
BetOnline released a list of players that the Lakers could sign or trade for during the offseason. San Antonio veteran Patty Mills tops the list with +150 odds. Mills averaged 10.8 points and 2.4 assists in 68 games this season.
Miami’s Goran Dragic is listed at +200, while Denver’s Austin Rivers is +250. The names get really interesting after that, as Derrick Rose is +300, Westbrook is +400 and Paul is +500.
Los Angeles does not have any cap space, so one of those players would need to take a pay cut in order to join the team in free agency. A sign-and-trade is another possibility and might end up being the path that the Lakers go down.
Paul is likely listed behind the other players at BetOnline due to the fact that Phoenix would not want to send him to a division rival. Westbrook is under contract for two more seasons, so the Lakers would have to find a trade package to snag him.
Spears said that there has been a discussion about Schroder, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kyle Kuzma being a potential package to acquire Westbrook. Schroder and Horton-Tucker would both have to agree to the sign-and-trade to D.C.