On Monday evening, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks saw their season come to an end with a blowout loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, giving Boston their first NBA championship in 16 years. Doncic put up solid statistics throughout these NBA Finals, but the Mavericks star found himself the frequent target of online criticism due to his perceived lack of effort on the defensive end of the floor at times as well as his propensity to constantly complain to the officials about missed calls.

In any case, the Celtics' championship victory officially concluded what was an interesting 2023-24 NBA season and sets the stage for what figures to be an intriguing offseason leading up to the 2024-25 campaign.

One of the most interesting races to keep up with each season is the NBA MVP race, which was as heated as it's been in years this season and ultimately went to Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic for the third time in four years this season. With the 2023-24 season now officially over, eyes have already turned ahead to next year to try to determine who might win the 2024-25 league MVP, and the good folks over at the FanDuel Sportsbook already have some ideas.

Currently, Jokic and Doncic are tied for first place in terms of MVP odds at +380, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder–who finished second in the race this year–sits in third place with +550 odds, tied with both Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers with those odds. Behind them is Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who enjoyed a breakout postseason this spring and is now solidified in the upper echelon of players in the league.

A heated race

 Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) hugs Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) after the game at American Airlines Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

As previously mentioned, this year's MVP race was arguably the most hotly contested that it has been in years. Jokic continued to cement his status as probably the best player alive in leading his Nuggets to another strong regular season, while Embiid put up mammoth statistics and looked to be the clear frontrunner for the award before getting injured in late January.

Meanwhile, Doncic had as good of a case as anyone, nearly averaging a triple double and winning the NBA scoring title this year, but the Mavericks' slow start to the year probably cost him a legitimate chance to take home his first league MVP trophy. Gilgeous-Alexander was the head of the snake for a young Thunder squad that raised eyebrows across the league this year en route to the number one seed in the vaunted Western Conference playoff picture.

All that is to say, there's no denying that there has never been more sheer talent in the NBA than what currently exists in the league today. Every single team in the league, with the possible exceptions of the Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards, has a player who would be considered “the guy” and who they hope to build around going forward.

Next year's NBA MVP race figures to be one for the ages.