The NBA’s season is less than a month away, and after an exciting 2020-21 season, fans are in for a treat. The 2021-22 season should be just as exciting as teams look to dethrone the Milwaukee Bucks. But it won’t be easy.

Dethroning the champions may require an exceptional season from a star player leading their team to victory. It will require an MVP. Here are the top five candidates for the MVP this season.

1.) Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic is the reigning MVP. And while there are other MVP-bound players, it’s hard to rule out Jokic.

Jokic had an excellent season, where he averaged a career-best in several categories. He averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists (all career best). Jokic also played in all 72 games last season and averaged another career-best in minutes (playing 34.6 minutes per game).

The Nuggets finished third in the Western Conference and made it to the second round of the playoffs. The Phoenix Suns swept the Nuggets, and as we know, the Suns made it to the NBA Finals.

With the Western Conference improving, the Nuggets have their work cut out for them. However, with another MVP season from Jokic, Denver remains a contender.

2.) Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo has a lot of accolades. He’s a two-time MVP, a one-time Defensive Player of the Year, and now an NBA champion. Antetokounmpo led his team to a championship and won Finals MVP in the process.

So, with Antetokounmpo’s achievements (and more to come), he’s easily an MVP candidate.

3.) Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid is arguably the best center in the NBA. He helped the Philadelphia 76ers become the first seed of the East, and despite battling injuries, he had a noteworthy season.

Embiid averaged a career-high 28.5 points and grabbed 10.6 rebounds in the process. He had career-highs in field goal, percentage, 3-point percentage, free-throw percentage, and steals. He missed 21 games, but when he was healthy, Embiid dominated.

The Sixers center battled Jokic in last year’s MVP race, and we could see the two bigs battle again.

4.) Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is one of the best players of today’s game. His knack for scoring is uncanny and makes him a threat to anyone who steps in front of him.

Last season, Durant played 35 games. In the playoffs, the Nets nearly made the Eastern Conference finals, but one simple play ended their hopes. This year, the Nets are on a mission. And if it takes Durant and an MVP-worthy season, he’s up for the challenge.

5.) Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic is one of the NBA’s young stars. He’s a 6-foot-7 guard who does a little of everything. He can score, he can facilitate, and he rebounds.

Doncic is a triple-double machine and is an exciting player to watch. The scary part? He’ll only get better.

The Mavericks may not be a contender, but with Doncic leading the way, they should have a good season.

Can’t the season come any sooner?

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