By Tyler English, Staff Writer
This National Basketball Association (NBA) offseason was quite the rollercoaster ride and may change the league’s landscape for years. It had everything from blockbuster trades to surprise free agent signings, and even drama within organizations that resulted in several shake ups. What makes this past summer different than any other, however, is the amount of all-stars who will play for a different team heading into the 2017-18 season.
There are seven players from the ‘16-’17 all-star team who are now wearing a different jersey. These NBA athletes include Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, Isaiah Thomas, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. This presents an interesting dynamic to the ‘new’ NBA, with the idea of putting yourself in the best winning situation, rather than players being loyal to their organizations.
The new look of the NBA is full of talent and the MVP discussion is completely wide open. The NBA’s Most Valuable Player award has been criticized in recent years for the lack of an exact definition. Does this award entail the best player on the best team? Is this player the most dominate player in the NBA? A player may qualify for one voter, but not for another.
I think the award should go to the player with the most ‘carry’ in the NBA. By ‘carry’, I mean the ability to take over a game in every aspect on route to a win. Winning is very important in the MVP discussion. A player could dominate every single possession, but if his team doesn’t win, it’s all for nothing. Last year’s winner, Russell Westbrook, put up numbers only seen once before as he averaged a triple-double. His ability to take over games and carry his team were the reasons he won MVP.
This season, however, he has two new all-star teammates. This helps his team, but will most likely hurt his case for repeating as Most Valuable Player. I believe, based off potential, this season’s MVP award will go to fourth year player Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Antetokounmpo is 6’11” with a 7’ wingspan, plays as a point guard for his team, and even led the team in all five of the major stat categories last season. As a dynamic athlete, it is unusual to see him on the court because traditional point guards are the smallest players on the floor. If the Bucks finish as the three seed in the Eastern Conference and Antetokounmpo dominates as he should, my prediction is that he will win the honor of being the MVP.