A little more than a month into the 2023-24 NBA season, OKC's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is among the top contenders for NBA MVP.
There’s no doubt about it, Canadian Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has played himself into the MVP conversation in the early part of the season. Let’s take a look at Gilgeous-Alexander and some other dark horse MVP candidates.
SGA for MVP
Through 16 games, Gilgeous-Alexander is fourth in league scoring, averaging 30.5 points per game. The 25-year-old Hamilton native is also averaging 6.0 rebounds per game, a team-high 6.1 assists and he leads the NBA with 2.4 steals per game. An All-NBA First Team member last season, Gilgeous-Alexander is dragging the Oklahoma City Thunder to the playoffs. OKC is tied for third in the Western Conference with an 11-6 record while Gilgeous-Alexander averaging almost 13 points more per game than the next closest player on the Thunder, rookie Chet Holmgren.
Other dark horse contenders
Anthony Edwards continues to roll this season following his first All-Star appearance last year. Edwards is averaging 26.2 ppg (team-high), 5.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals (team-high). He has the Minnesota Timberwolves atop the Western Conference standings with an 11-4 record and he recently became the youngest player in NBA history to record his 100th career game of 25 or more points.
Tyrese Haliburton is making history for the Indiana Pacers this season. Earlier this month against the Hornets, Haliburton became the first player in franchise history to record a game of 40-plus points and 10-plus assists. He followed that performance up by setting a new team record for points in a quarter with 26 against Hawks. Haliburton is also the first player in NBA history to record back-to-back games of 25-plus points, 15-plus assists and no turnovers, which both came against the 76ers. He leads Indiana in both points per game (25.9) and assists per game (11.9).
De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings forced their way into playoff contention last year and it looks like they’ll do it again this season. Fox is averaging 29.8 ppg (team-high), 4.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals (team-high). He averages 10 more points per game than the next closest player on the Kings, Domantas Sabonis, and he has helped Sacramento to sixth place in the Western Conference with a 10-6 record, which is just 2.5 games back of the top seed.