1. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder
anPerhaps the most unlikely of any player on this list of all the candidates. When Oklahoma City Thunder star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander came into the NBA in 2018 no one saw him developing into the superstar scoring savant he is today or become a All-NBA First Team selection that he was last season.
He has such an unorthodox, herky-jerky style of play and is never sped up by anyone. He gets to his spots whenever he feels like it and has elite-level scoring ability on all three levels on the basketball court.
He's the main cog behind an exciting, energetic, and compelling young Thunder team that has come in this season and shocked everyone by sitting at number two in a loaded Western Conference as they have beaten the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics and look like true forces to be reckoned with.
This will be his first postseason run as a superstar in the league having not been in a playoff series since the bubble in 2020 in his sophomore season. Shai is having another stellar season individually as well to pair with his team's success averaging 31.5 points (4th), 6.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and leads the league in steals per game (2.4) currently.
All these are career-highs for the slippery and stylish Thunder guard. He's always poised no matter how big the moment is and never seems fazed by any other superstar opponent he's gone up against from Jayson Tatum, Stephen Curry, etc.
Due to the expectations of this team coming into the season and how this team has blown them out of the water with him averaging career-highs across the board, being durable, and outplaying many of the league's top stars head-to-head... He's the favorite to win MVP today.