Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid finished as the MVP runner up behind Nikola Jokic in the 2020-21 season. He was terrific out all season averaging 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds while helping the Sixers earn the No. 1 seed in the East.
Considering he is now 27 years old, Embiid is entering the prime of his career, and now is the time for him to continue to lead the team on its quest for a title. Playing under Doc Rivers, the star big man is going to continue to play at a high level.
Due to his elite play, Embiid is ranked third in the early MVP rankings for the 2021-22 season by Bleacher Report:
Suffering a bone bruise in his left knee in March may have prevented Joel Embiid from winning MVP this past year, as his pre-injury play was the best of his career.
Embiid averaged 29.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.4 blocks and shot 52.5 percent overall and 42.2 percent from three in 31 games before the knee injury. Although his play was still strong upon his return on April 3 (26.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.3 blocks, 49.3% overall and 31.3% from three in 20 games), even a slight dip in his numbers and efficiency weren’t enough to catch Nikola Jokic.
The bone bruise is something that probably ruined Embiid’s chances at winning the award; Jokic played all 72 games. The big fella only played 51 so that hurt his candidacy for the award.
If Embiid can stay healthy — always a big if — then he should be able to win the award next season. Assuming he continues to take steps forward as a player, that should help his chances to win the 2022 MVP award.
Top 3 worst possible trade destinations for Sixers star Ben Simmons
View 3 items