Will the top of the MVP Ladder be well-represented in this weekend’s All-Star Draft?

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Nikola Jokic pic

We are all expectant to see if the top of the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder will be represented faithfully in the live televised NBA All-Star Draft, a first-time pregame segment that is to happen only minutes before the highly-awaited match begins between the best of the West and the East in Salt Lake City.

All the players listed in the latest edition of the draft are expected to participate in the All-Star Game, aside from those stars who are still dealing with injuries like Kevin Durant and possibly Giannis Antetokounmpo after he hurt his wrist last night, or even players who were snubbed like James Harden who up to this year wasn’t selected after 10 straight-participations in the NBA showcase.

Others will have double duties like Portland’s Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum from the Celtics, as they are to participate in the Starry Three-Point Contest or if Antetokounmpo proves to be fit, as he was set to be a part of the Kia Skills Challenge and other weekend activities.

Let’s recap on how this works. The first step were the voting results, which chose each conference’s captains, as LeBron James leads the West and the Greek Freak guides the East. However, it is the Lakers star who will recieve the first pick of the All-Star Draft, as he was the overall leader in votes during the balloting process. After this, both captains will choose one by one from the All-Star pool.

Just this week, TNT’s Ernie Johnson disclosed during “Inside the NBA” show that each Conference’s leaders will chose the reserves first before drafting the eight starters, which is a different dynamic considering it was the other way around in past selections.

As the Bucks star represents the first top five player in the MVP Ladder who is not on the pool, the questions arises if the other four in the Kia Race will be the next to be chosen?

The answer is of course, probably not, as Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic and Tatum all are different players with different qualities. At this point, it’s important not to take anything too personally, as every captain has their own tastes, needs and maybe even friendships to respect.

Nevertheless, it’s our job to anticipate, predict and simply have fun with the possibilities laid before us. Because, this is what the All-Star Game is for, right? It’s time to leave all the rigorous competitiveness behind only for a few days and dream the unthinkable this weekend in Utah.

MVP Ladder: Embiid jumps a spot, as Giannis trails close behind Jokic at the top of the race

As Denver’s Jokic and Antetokounmpo maintain their strong case at the top of the Ladder, Sixers star Embiid jumps back into No.3 spot past Tatum, who moves to the fourth place only above Luka Doncic who remains in fifth of the race for another week.

The NBA announces that after this edition of the MVP Ladder, they will return to the Kia Race until March 3rd.

Here is the complete Top 10 list for the league’s best players of the campaign:

1. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (Last week’s ranking: No. 1)

2. Giannis Antetokoumpo, Milwaukee Bucks (Last week’s ranking: No. 2)

3. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Last week’s ranking: No. 4)

4. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (Last week’s ranking: No. 3)

5. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (Last week’s ranking: No. 5)

6. Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns (Last week’s ranking: No. 6)

7. Julius Randle, New York Knicks (Last week’s ranking: No. 7)

8. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (Last week’s ranking: No. 9)

9. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder (Last week’s ranking: No.10)

10. Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings (Last week’s ranking: No. 8)