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NBA MVP odds: How will James Harden’s presence affect Joel Embiid’s chances?

With a new high-usage player in the mix, what will happen to Embiid’s MVP stock?

Cleveland Cavaliers v Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers signals to teammates during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center on February 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers begin the second part of their season with a new player in the mix. Daryl Morey got his man when he made the trade deadline move for James Harden, elevating the 76ers into the championship mix. Harden’s presence will determine how far Philly goes, but he’ll also have a direct influence on Joel Embiid’s MVP chances. The big man is having a season for the ages, which has pushed Morey to make this trade.

Below we’ll break down the All-Star center’s current MVP odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook and look at the road ahead.

Joel Embiid MVP Odds: +160

The oddsmakers feel Embiid will actually benefit heavily from Harden’s presence, which is possible. Having a ball-dominant player on the perimeter who happens to be a prolific scorer could open up Embiid for more favorable matchups. Opponents will have to respect Harden’s ability on the periphery, limiting the about of double-teams they can send at Embiid. That could lead to the big man putting up even better numbers as he continues to lead the pack in the MVP race.

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