The face of the NBA is going to be set for a long time. With the game’s new set of stars entering their primes, the league will have plenty of new faces contending for the MVP Award for the next decade. Mainstays such as LeBron James and Stephen Curry are heading towards their 40s. While both figures hang around the championship conversations, being the best player in the league might be something in the past.
In the short and long term, some familiar faces could figure to be in the MVP conversation. As for the younger generation, some of those players will be entering their mid-20s and could take the next step towards stardom. When looking at the next 10 years, it’s time to see some of these younger players make the jump just like James and Curry in their heyday.
Which players could that be? The last No. 1 picks, such as Deandre Ayton, Zion Williamson, Anthony Edwards, Cade Cunningham, and Paolo Banchero, were seen as players to help elevate their franchises to the next level. There are other players such as Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, Trae Young, and Ja Morant that are seen as the league’s next faces. Could any of these players have what it takes to win an MVP Award?
Here are the predictions for the next 10 MVPs of the NBA.
2022-23 NBA MVP - Kevin Durant
With the Golden State Warriors winning the 2022 championship, it’s going to light a fire under Kevin Durant. The national narrative is that Durant cannot win without the Warriors. Durant was the Finals MVP in 2017 and 2018 when he won titles with Golden State. However, since he left the team in 2019, he has been unable to carry his Nets to the NBA Finals, let alone make the Conference Finals.
Assuming that Durant will be back and healthy next season, Durant will make a surge towards being the best player in the league. After all, he looked like the best player at times last season. In 55 games, Durant finished with a line of 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and shot 51.8% from the field. This will all depend on where Durant plays next season. Regardless of where he plays, Durant has the talent to be the best player in the league. It all depends on if he will stay healthy and now if he suits up on time.
2023-24 NBA MVP - Luka Doncic
Doncic will turn 24 years old next season, so he will be 25 years old in 2023-24. We have already seen a magnificent player in the early stages of his career. By this time, we will see Doncic take a turn towards greatness. We have already seen parallels between Doncic and Michael Jordan in the playoffs regarding his scoring. That turn will take action in the regular season by his age 25 season too.
Jordan was 24 years old when he won his first MVP Award. Doncic will be in the same ballpark around that time. Doncic will do one of two things this season. He will average over 30.0 points per game for the entire season for the first time in his career. If not, he will become the first player to average a triple-double in a season since Russell Westbrook. Doncic has come close, averaging 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in 2019-20.
2024-25 NBA MVP - Joel Embiid
In this season, there will be pressure on Embiid to win. The 76ers will not have made the NBA Finals in Embiid’s career. He will be in his 30s making $47 million with his new contract extension. The critics will be loud calling for Embiid to be traded and he will silence the media with his play on the court.
Embiid’s highest finish in the race was runner-up this last season. Embiid might have won the award had Nikola Jokic not made NBA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a season. By this season, the 76ers will have to rely on Embiid the way that the Nuggets relied on Jokic this past year.
2025-26 NBA MVP - Giannis Antetokounmpo
In the 2025-26 season, Antetokounmpo will be in the final year of his supermax contract extension, which will be paying him $51 million. He will only be 31 years old and playing in a contract year with the intent that his next contract will be his last big-money contract. Antetokounmpo has already won two MVPs with the Bucks, but he will pick up his third after picking up his player’s option, trying to prove that he remains to be worth being paid like a top player in the league.
The Bucks have only one player on the books for this season assuming that he would pick up his player’s option. By this time, the Bucks will be looking at the makeshift of their future as Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday will be older players. With Antetokounmpo still in his prime, he will have one of the best offensive and defensive seasons from a post player.
2026-27 NBA MVP - Zion Williamson
Five years from now, Williamson will be 27 years old. After years of battling injuries and determining his identity in the league, Williamson will finally grab hold of the league as we have always thought he would. Shaquille O’Neal secured his first MVP Award when he was 27 years old with the Lakers. Will Williamson be a member of the Lakers at this time and follow suit? Only time will tell, but with the potential that Williamson has, it seems like this would be the time that he would finally become the league’s best player.
When Williamson was healthy, he averaged a line of 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and shot 61.1% from the field. When O’Neal won the MVP, he averaged 29.7 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 3.0 blocks, and shot 57.4% from the field. O’Neal had seven years of work in the league before earning that MVP Award. By this time, Williamson should have grown into an MVP candidate.
2027-28 NBA MVP - Luka Doncic
When Jordan won his first MVP in 1988, he went three seasons before he won it again in 1991. Again, both players are very different and Doncic has a lot to prove, but we are assuming that by this time, Doncic has played in the NBA Finals. Potentially, this would be the time that Doncic finally has the perfect season. He would be 29 years old with an MVP Award, but this would be the year he leads the Mavericks to the NBA Finals, wins Finals MVP, and also sweeps the regular-season award as well.
With what Doncic is doing right now as a 23-year-old, it’s safe to assume that he is going to have his best years between the ages of 27 and 32. He will have a true superstar teammate to only make him better because either the Mavericks brought in a player, or he decided to team up with someone. Either way, there is no way that Doncic doesn’t win at least another MVP.
2028-29 NBA MVP - Jayson Tatum
Tatum will be 31 years old by this season and will look like the second version of Kevin Durant. Had Durant never been injured in 2019, he likely would have secured a second MVP Award before the 2022-23 season. Instead, we saw glimpses of what that would look like only for him to miss half of the season. The difference with Tatum is he will average the stats and play well over 70 games.
When Durant won his MVP Award in 2014, he averaged 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks. Tatum is coming off a 2021-22 season where he averaged 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.6 blocks. He has consistently improved each season. In a battle of great players, Tatum will have come up short multiple times, but this season, he will put together a line that will have him land the MVP Award.
2029-30 NBA MVP - Luka Doncic
Since 2000, the only players to record multiple MVPs are Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic. Assuming that our predictions are 100% accurate, Kevin Durant would be added to that list, as well as Doncic. For Doncic, he would join LeBron and Giannis as the only players in the last 30 years to win at least three MVPs.
Doncic is a special talent that can do just about everything. When you look across the landscape of the NBA, if you had to choose a player in today’s game that would win three MVPs by the time their career ended, who would you choose? For what Doncic brings to the table, he has to be the first choice because he can score, rebound, and playmaker.
2030-31 NBA MVP - Ja Morant
By this season, Morant will be 31 years old and he will have given us a glimpse of what Derrick Rose would have looked like at this point had he stayed healthy. Morant will be the same player that can slash his way inside the lane to score. He will score over 30 points per game and supply eight assists as well. He will have developed a true three-point shot. Morant will be the complete package.
Another comparison is Dwyane Wade. In 2008-09, Wade won the scoring title averaging 30.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. With a new defensive tenacity, Morant will average a similar line to Wade from this season and win the MVP Award. He will become the first Grizzlies player to ever win MVP, having stayed in Memphis because of his loyalty to the city.
2031-32 NBA MVP - Zion Williamson
Ten years from now, Williamson will not be on the Pelicans. He will have joined a superstar from the NBA, similar to what Durant did in 2016. Wherever Williamson goes, he will embark on a similar path to what Moses Malone did in 1982. Malone’s first season with the 76ers saw him average 24.5 points, 15.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.0 blocks while shooting 50.1% from the field.
Williamson will average similar numbers in his first season with his new team. He will also win the NBA championship with his new team, while also winning Finals MVP. It will be the perfect season for Williamson, who will have gone through adversity and failures to learn how to succeed in the NBA. Using those past experiences, Williamson will be all smiles after the 2031-32 season.
2018 And 2019 Draft Stars Are The Future
As you can see, some of the league’s current stars will remain in the limelight of the league. Giannis has at least a decade left of dominating inside the lane, while Embiid will finally get over the hump and earn an MVP Award of his own. With that said, the future comes from the 2018 and 2019 drafts. Doncic, the No. 3 overall pick, will land three MVPs in the next 10 seasons. Trae Young, the No. 5 overall pick, was not predicted to win an MVP Award, but he has the potential to be in the voting and finish high in multiple seasons.
The 2019 draft is top-heavy with Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick, and Morant, the No. 2 overall pick. The debate on who 'the true No. 1 pick should have been' has already started as the two players are only three years into their careers. Assuming that Williamson and Morant can stay healthy, they could be the greatest top-2 picks in a draft in NBA history.