- Donovan Mitchell averaged 23.8 PPG last season
- BetOnline offers enticing +700 MVP odds for James Harden
- Damian Lillard an intriguing longshot at +2500
The blockbuster deal that sent Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul saw a huge swing in NBA MVP odds.
Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz saw one of the biggest shifts in betting line prices, going from +6500 to +3300 at BetOnline after the Westbrook for Paul trade.
With all the big name free agent signings and mega deals in the NBA, Mitchell is flying under the radar on a drastically improved Utah Jazz team.
However, can the third-year shooting guard put up an MVP-worthy season?
2019-20 NBA MVP Award Odds
|Player||Odds at BetOnline|
|Karl Anthony Towns||+2000|
*Odds taken 07/13/2019. Click the link in the table for the full list of NBA MVP odds.
Mitchell certainly has a stronger supporting cast around him after the Jazz bolstered its lineup with a trade that brought in point guard Mike Conley. A Donovan-Conley backcourt is now one of the best in the Western Conference, if not the NBA.
Add in the signing of forward Bojan Bogdanovic from the Indiana Pacers and the Jazz are automatically now in the discussion as legitimate NBA title contenders.
Mitchell to Carry Offensive Load
While Utah’s off-season additions have strengthened the core of the Jazz lineup, the success of the franchise will still fall to Mitchell.
The 2017 first-round draft pick has seen his numbers improve over two seasons in the NBA. Mitchell averaged 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in his rookie season and finished second in NBA Rookie of the Year voting behind Ben Simmons.
Donovan Mitchell is perfect. pic.twitter.com/GTVYd8rTvE
— SLC Dunk (@slcdunk) July 4, 2019
In 2018-19, Mitchell improved his points per game to 23.8 and averaged 4.1 RPG as well as 4.2 APG. The second half of Mitchell’s season last year was even more impressive, as he went from averaging 22 PPG before the all-star break to 26 PPG after.
He also saw his three-point shooting skyrocket from 32% to 45% during that period.
Mitchell is growing into an NBA superstar, but it’s far too early to believe he is going to win an MVP title, especially in his third season in the league.
Don’t Forget About Harden
Defending MVP champ Giannis Antetokounmpo is the favorite to win the award again at +300. The Greek Freak will undoubtedly be in the conversation for MVP again next season, but it’s hard to ignore James Harden at +700.
James Harden and Russell Westbrook are back together ?
— ESPN (@espn) July 12, 2019
Reunited with Westbrook in Houston, Harden could once again see his PPG average at the same mark as last season when he led the NBA in scoring. After posting a career-high average of 36.1, expect Harden to be in the MVP mix once again after being named a runner-up to Antetokounmpo this summer.
Forgotten throughout all of the NBA free agency hype and blockbuster trades is Damian Lillard. The Portland Trail Blazers star is listed as an enticing +2500 underdog to win the NBA MVP award in 2019-20.
— Blazers Nation (@BlazersNationCP) July 5, 2019
If you’re looking for a true value pick, it doesn’t get better than those odds for Lillard, who only missed two games last season and averaged 25.8 PPG.
Two years ago, Lillard had his best season offensively, averaging 27 PPG which helped him finish fourth in NBA MVP voting behind Anthony Davis, LeBron James and eventual winner James Harden.
Lillard carries the offensive load in Portland and will likely see his numbers on the rise alongside co-star CJ McCollum.
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