Early 2017-2018 NBA MVP odds were released yesterday by Bovada, and included among the household NBA names was none other than Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.

Of course the top of the list is chalk full of NBA superstars like 2016 MVP Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James and James Harden. But for Jokic to even be on the list at this point shows that he is starting to garner some well-deserved national attention around the league, which for a generally considered flyover team like Denver is great news. Nuggets power forward Paul Millsap also made it, rounding off the list with 150/1 odds.

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Does the Joker even have a realistic chance at winning the MVP this season? I probably have better odds of getting Norovirus at Chipotle or having a decent meal at Casa Bonita or not laughing at one of the “Jokes with the Joker” promos, but you really never know. He could come back and exceed all expectations (which would be amazing) but it’s more likely that his time to be fully inserted into the MVP race is a little bit longer down the road.

It should absolutely be noted, however, that Jokic is actually quite high up on the list when you look at some of the players below him. For starters, he has the same odds as the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, and is only slightly below DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns. He has higher odds than Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard, and even Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler. Other “rival” centers Jusuf Nurkic and Rudy Gobert didn’t even make the cut.

Most importantly, he his significantly higher odds than Kristaps Porzingis. I wonder why.

Regardless of how Jokic fares in the MVP race this season, I think we are all just excited to see him back on the court for the Denver Nuggets.

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