Kawhi Leonard played in only nine games last season, but it won't prevent him from being among the favorites to be named Most Valuable Player of the league in 2018-19.
At 11/1, online gambling site Bovada gives the Toronto Raptors forward the sixth-best odds to win MVP this season. The only players ahead of him are LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden and Kevin Durant, giving Leonard better odds than Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid to name a few.
Bovada has released opening odds for next season's MVP. LeBron is favored, followed by Anthony Davis, Giannis, Harden and KD. pic.twitter.com/M1IbSHMV2y- Sean Highkin (@highkin) August 15, 2018
Leonard finished second in MVP voting in 2015-16, when he averaged 21.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game on a San Antonio Spurs that finished the season with 67 wins. He then finished third in MVP voting the following season, when he averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game on a Spurs team that finished with 61 wins.
It remains to be seen if Leonard can get back to being the player that gave the Golden State Warriors a scare in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in 2017, but he has the potential to take the Raptors to an entirely new level this season. If Toronto proves to be a legitimate title contender and Leonard returns to his All-NBA form, it would set him up well to win the first MVP award of his career.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.