Winning the MVP is one of the hardest milestones an NBA player can ever achieve, considering he’s going to have to compete against the most talented basketball players in the world and have a career year while also leading his team to the playoffs.
There are a lot of different narratives. Some state this award should go to the best player in the league, others to the best player in the best team, and others to the player that has more impact in the game whether his team makes the playoffs or not.
But, truth to be told, just a handful of players get truly considered to win this award, either because their teams are always among the league’s leaders or because they play for a big market.
Obviously, that means other standout ballers get constantly snubbed of this award, and even though it may be kind of early in some of this players careers, we can go ahead and predict 10 players that are never going to win an MVP.
10. Chris Paul
Despite being arguably a top 5 point guard in the history of the game, is just too late for Chris Paul to even be a part of the MVP conversation, being already 32 years old, injury prone and not even the best player on his team right now.
Paul has (smartly) settled for being James Harden’s sidekick and that’s immediately paid off for him, having the greatest shot at playing for the Chip this campaign than he’s ever had before, and even though his impact on both ends of the court is undeniable, he’s not an MVP candidate anymore.
9. Kyrie Irving
Earlier in this season, Kyrie Irving was one of the frontrunners to win the MVP as he led the Boston Celtics to the first seed in the Eastern Conference, but with the C’s slightly sliding in the standings, it seems like we’ve all forgotten how good he was during the first couple of months.
Also, even though he may want to be the team’s go-to-guy, this impressive Boston Celtics core is going to make it really difficult for him to stand out from the pack, while his lack of effort and hustle on the defensive end of support stats other than points and dimes are going to constantly take a toll on his MVP case.
8. Paul George
Paul George is having arguably the best season of his career now as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder with his top-notch defense and always reliable shooting stroke, but it feels like he’s the kind of baller that needs other great players around him to thrive.
That pretty much means that he’s going to have a really hard time single-handedly leading a team to success, and he’s always come short during clutch time. Also, he’s going to need to play for a much bigger market if he wants to be a part of the MVP conversation.
7. Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler doesn’t get enough recognition as one of the best two-way guard/forwards in the league, and he’s a low profile kind of player that seems that has already peaked and doesn’t have much room for improvement either.
Butler is one of the best wings in the league and the biggest reason why the Timberwolves have been able to turn around the tables in this campaign, but he doesn’t have a huge fan base to support him, doesn’t play for a big market and is quite unlikely to ever make it past the second round of the playoffs.
6. LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge is arguably the most boring superstar you can see on an NBA hardwood, and even despite Popovich’s efforts to make adjustments to try and get him more involved in offense for the Spurs, he just has a very limited skill set, isn’t much of a defender and tends to disappear during crunch time as well.
Also, Aldridge is already 32 years old and he’s not even the best player on his team, so as soon as Kawhi Leonard comes back from injury (and considering the Spurs are likely going to go through a minor rebuild following Parker’s, Gasol’s and Ginobili’s retirement), he doesn’t stand a chance to win the MVP ever.
5. Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson has an extremely low profile and is quite an unselfish fella when he’s on the court, being maybe one of the most hardworking guys in Steve Kerr in both ends of the hardwood despite not getting nearly half as much as attention as Durant, Curry or Green.
Thompson has already stated that he wants to end his career as a member of the Golden State Warriors, meaning that he’s never going to have a slight shot at the MVP, as he’s going to have to share touches with two of the most skilled players this game has ever seen.
4. Kevin Love
Kevin Love didn’t find much success on his own and he has already proved that he can’t lead a team to the playoffs despite posting huge stat lines and being one of the most gifted big men in the Association during his time at Minnesota.
Having that on the mind, he’s obviously embraced a lesser role with the Cleveland Cavaliers and has become a major factor in their recent runs, but at age 29, we just don’t see him improving his current production and ever becoming a part of the MVP talks.
3. DeMar DeRozan
This one’s quite unfair, as not even this season, with the Toronto Raptors being the best team in the Eastern Conference and the first team to clinch a playoff berth, people are talking about DeMar DeRozan as an MVP candidate.
DeRozan is by far the Raptors’ best player, has improved a lot on defense and has even added the three-point shot to his offensive repertoire. His skill set is pretty similar to Kobe’s, he’s great in the clutch, and he’s a top-tier shooting guard, but he’s never going to get any credit for that if he continues to play on a small market, regardless of if he’s the greatest player in Raptors’ history.
2. John Wall
John Wall has quietly become one of the league’s best two-way point guards and a player that’s always among the league leaders in both assists and steals, as well as being by far the best player in this resurging Washington Wizards squad.
Nonetheless, the lack of a capable support cast and the fact that he’s not the humble guy fans and media love and tends to support in this kind of conversations, as well as constant early playoff exits for the Wizards make him one of the biggest snubs on a yearly basis.
1. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is never going to be a part of the MVP conversation because he’s reluctant to bail on the Portland Trail Blazers to chase personal glory, and despite being the most prolific scorer in 2018 and leading Rip City to the 3rd seed in the West, nobody’s giving him the kind of recognition he deserves.
Lillard has never hesitated to praise himself and he’s already a top-notch scorer and the clutchest guy you’ll see, but the only way he could ever be a part of the MVP talk is leaving the Blazers, something that’s just not going to happen.