We are almost done with the first trimester of the 2023-24 NBA season. With most teams having played around 25 games, we have enough of a sample size to evaluate players and see who the best performers have been. The amount of talent in the league today is truly unprecedented. Therefore, the MVP race is as crowded as ever. Yet, Nikola Jokic was still running away with the award after the first month of the season, but is that still the case? Let’s take a deep dive.
Worthy of Top-10 but haven’t played enough games
Both Booker and Fox have been playing at a near-MVP level when they have been healthy. Booker is having a career season as he switched to a full-time point guard role, averaging over 8 assists per game with incredibly impressive shooting splits of 48.4/41/91.7%. However, he has only played in 16 games so far, lower than any other MVP candidate on this list, pushing him down the rankings.
Fox is having a similarly dominant season with a career-high 30 points per game. The Sacramento Kings have been 12-6 in the games he played in. Yet, his 18 games so far are also not enough to make a strong case for the top-10. If they keep this up, they will be heard from in this race.
Outside looking in
Edwards has been the best player on the best team in the league. When he is on the court, the Minnesota Timberwolves are outscoring their opponents by 13.8 points per 100 possessions, one of the best marks in the league. However, his below-league-average efficiency of 55.3% True Shooting is not good enough to be a serious MVP candidate for now.
Curry, on the other hand, is having another very efficient season, with an impressive 65.4% True Shooting. But the Golden State Warriors have simply not been good enough. They are 10-12 in games Curry played, and surprisingly have a better net rating with him off-the-floor than on.
Davis has the best case to be in the top-10. He has been healthy and one of the three best defensive players in the league so far. 23.9 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game make a strong argument, but you can only be so high in MVP rankings as the second-best player on your own team.
So if the likes of AD and Curry couldn't crack the top ten, who did?