Even though it is still early in the season, it is never too early to break down the top candidates for the Most Valuable Player award. Last season, Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx won the WNBA’s prestigious award. She averaged 18.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 1.97 blocks per game in a tremendous season. Here are five candidates that could take home the award this season.
1. Sylvia Fowles
The reigning MVP for the Lynx is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and a four-time All-Star. This season she is averaging 17.7 points per game, 14.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks. Although she may be overshadowed by Maya Moore, at times, Fowles is a consistent double double threat as well as the anchor to one of the best teams in the league. Quite frankly she is the most important piece to their championship aspirations.
2. Diana Taurasi
Taurasi is one of the greatest players of all-time. She is a three-time champion with the Phoenix Mercury, two-time Finals MVP, a recipient of the MVP in 2009, and an eight-time All-Star. This season Taurasi is averaging 20.3 points per game with a 46 percent field goal percentage. She will be heavily relied upon for her scoring ability and it will be interesting to see if she can turn back the clock at, now, 35 years of age. The Mercury are only as good as their best player.
3. Brittney Griner
The 6’8 center is one of the best in the game, but gets forgotten about with Taurasi on the roster. Griner won a ring in 2014 as a key deterrent at the rim on defense as well as the opposing team not having an answer for her on offense. Griner is averaging 20 points, seven rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. She has always been a dominant player look for her to be a top candidate for the prestigious award especially if she keeps scoring at this rate.
4. Nneka Ogwumike
Another former MVP on this list is one of the best players on the Los Angeles Sparks in Ogwumike. She won this award back in 2016 as she too is one of the best two-way players the WNBA has to offer. She might play with Candace Parker, but she has proven her worth over the last few years. This season Ogwumike is averaging 21 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game, and 3.0 assists per game while shooting 63 percent from the field. It never hurts to have someone like CP3 setting her up as she knows how Ogwumike likes to receive passes as well as in her hot spots.
5. Breanna Stewart
Stewart was the first overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm. She is averaging 19.7 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, and 1.7 blocks per game. Stewart continues to show she is one of the bright young stars in the association with her ability to vacuum boards and get buckets at will. Her ability to pass is extremely underrated and you have to be weary of her stretching the floor as a three-point shooter. Look for her to continue taking the league by “storm” as she is barely entering her third season.
All five of these candidates are having great start to the 2018 season. Even though it is still early, any of these five candidates could be on top of the mountain at the end of the season. Winning the MVP would be a great individual achievement, but they are also capable of helping their team win it all.