Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle
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Now that Kevin Durant has departed for the Brooklyn Nets, the Golden State Warriors are unquestionably Stephen Curry’s team again.
The point guard will have to bear even more of the offensive burden with Klay Thompson out for at least the first couple months of the season, and oddsmakers in Las Vegas have taken notice.
A new list of odds for who will win the 2020 NBA MVP Award gives Curry the second-best chances of being the league’s most valuable player next year.
The odds come from Caesar’s Palace via Bleacher Report’s sports betting section, and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as the current favorite to win the award in 2020 with odds of +300.
Curry is given the second-best odds at +500, and is followed by the Houston Rockets’ James Harden at +600. According to Bleacher Report, Harden’s odds tumbled from +350 after the team traded for his former Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook, another ball-dominant guard.
Harden is followed by a trio of Los Angeles players – LeBron James (Lakers), Anthony Davis (Lakers) and Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) — who are all tied at +700 apiece.
Many NBA fans seem to forget that Curry won consecutive MVP awards before Durant joined the team in the summer of 2016.
After averaging 30.1 points per game and being named the league’s first-ever unanimous MVP in 2016, Curry’s scoring output dipped to 25.3 points per game during Durant’s first season with the team.
Curry’s scoring averages increased to 26.4 points per game and 27.3 points per game over the next two seasons, and it stands to reason that number will rise again this year.
The MVP award also does not necessarily have to go to a player who propelled their team to the top of the conference standings, as Russell Westbrook won the award in 2017 after leading the Thunder to a meager 47-35 record and the six seed in the West.
Coincidentally, Westbrook won the award for his regular season heroics in the wake of Durant’s sudden departure from Oklahoma City.
Curry will be in a near-identical situation next season, and oddsmakers clearly believe he has a good chance of winning his third career MVP award in 2020.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Steph-Curry-MVP-2020-NBA-Kevin-Durant-Giannis-odds-14103712.php.