Entering the 2023-2024 season, it is now time for the Boston Celtics to have the MVP on their roster for the first time since 1986; when Larry Bird was leading the charge for K.C. Jones’s Cs to Banner 16.
And there’s one obvious frontrunner to win it.
The sportsbooks, as of October 10, have Jayson Tatum with the fifth-highest odds of winning the MVP. When you look at the four players they have ahead of him, it’s easy to make the case that this will be Tatum’s year — Nikola Jokic is the betting favorite, Luka Doncic is second, Giannis Antetokounmpo is third, and Joel Embid is fourth.
When it comes to Jokic’s situation, while he will have fantastic numbers and win enough games, we all know about voter fatigue; set to penalize the Finals MVP this season. When it comes to Doncic, he may have the best numbers statistically, but without adding much to the team in the offseason it does not seem like the Dallas Mavericks will win enough for him to get that crown. Giannis’s argument is that the Bucks adding Damian Lillard will hurt his counting stats and take away his narrative. It will be unclear who is the true number one for that team offensively when they play together. For Embid, the reigning MVP, many people believed he won the award due to the voter fatigue for Jokic. Not only will Embiid deal with voter fatigue, but the James Harden situation may also play a huge factor in the locker room for the Philadelphia 76ers. Not to mention, they may not win enough to put him in a position to win.
That leaves Tatum to be first in line to be the league’s MVP. Coming off of a season where he averaged 30.1 Points, 8.8 Rebounds, and 4.6 Assists, adding a 2023 All-Star Game MVP for good measure, Tatum can come in and put up the necessary stat line to warrant the votes with an improved supporting cast around that won’t usurp him in the way Lillard might Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.
The Boston Celtics’ record will help with Jayson Tatum’s MVP case
With the key additions in the offseason of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, the Boston Celtics should also be at the very top of the NBA standings, so Tatum’s team’s record will be strong enough to garner MVP consideration.
Another big factor that will work in Tatum’s favor? Even though these players have been added, there’s no question in anyone’s mind that this is his team. Not many would even argue that any of his teammates could take that spot from him. And the odds, are, those teammates won’t want to, instead focusing on coming together to raise Banner 18.
Tatum being the clear-cut top option on one of the league’s top teams will make him a slam dunk choice for MVP by the 2023-24 season’s end. Everyone listed ahead of him and behind him on the betting favorites list will either suffer from voter fatigue, a lack of wins, or people being unsure of who the true number one is on his team.
The Boston Celtics must be excited about this season. They may have their first Michael Jordan Award winner, and first MVP since “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder topped the charts.