2023-24 NBA MVP Named in Straw Poll from ESPN

 It's another great race with several strong contenders for NBA MVP this season, but an ESPN straw poll of 100 media members has come back with a winner, giving the nod, in a runaway, to Nikola Jokic.

Jokic claimed 85 of 100 votes and is poised to win his 3rd MVP in the last four years. The 3-time winner's club is a very select group:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6)
  • Bill Russell (5)
  • Michael Jordan (5)
  • Wilt Chamberlain (4)
  • LeBron James (4)
  • Moses Malone (3) 
  • Larry Bird (3) 
  • Magic Johnson (3)
Jokic's closest competitor is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder. SGA has exploded into superstardom this year, leading OKC to a stunning virtual tie for first in the Western Conference. Jokic's defending champion Denver Nuggets, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Thunder are all separated by just half a game at the top of the West.

Joel Embiid, last year's winner, has only played in 35 games this season due to injury, leaving him far short of the NBA's new 65-game minimum for winning major awards.

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks round out the top four contenders, but neither of them are expected to come anywhere close to supplanting Jokić at the top. 

The Nuggets' triple-double machine, Jokic is averaging 26.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and nine assists while shooting 58% from the floor. 

 Photo: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports