How realistic is it for Lauri Markkanen to be in the NBA MVP race?

Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz.
Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz. /

Will Lauri Markkanen compete for the NBA MVP award in 2024?

Lauri Markkanen is the engine that will determine how far the Utah Jazz go in 2024. The Finnish superstar had a breakout season in the NBA, earning his first All-Star nod while nearly leading the team to the postseason; or at the very least the play-in tournament. The team fell short and Markkanen missed some time down the stretch but for the most part, it was seen as a successful season.

But the fact is, Markkanen didn’t lead the team to the postseason. A huge move in any NBA superstar’s quest to land a spot in the MVP debate. If Markkanen can get the Jazz to the playoff, and have a big season while doing it, his name will be in contention for the award. An award that Nikola Jokic should’ve won a third-straight time, and will likely have the death grip on come the 2023-2024 season.

He’s the best player in the world and if anyone is going to take the trophy from him, barring a consolation prize again for Joel Embiid, they’re going to have to put together a huge season-long performance.

Can Markkanen do that?

Well, according to some betting sites, Markkanen has the 33rd-best chance of winning the NBA MVP this season, behind guys like Zach LaVine, Jalen Brunson, and Mikal Bridge. Which seems insulting.

Markkanen is a Top 25, if not a Top 20 player in the NBA, and has an entire team built around him. If he comes out of the block hot, and can keep the Jazz in playoff contention, there’s no way he’s not at least a Top 5 MVP candidate when the season ends.

If he struggles, all bets are off, but we remain optimistic that Markkanen will in fact be the guy who leads the Jazz to the 2024 postseason.

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