Is Rudy Gobert a Legitimate NBA MVP Candidate?

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves currently sit atop the Western Conference with an NBA best 17-4 record, which can be largely attributed to the stellar contributions from Rudy Gobert on both ends of the floor.

Not only is he back to being the most feared defender in the NBA, but Rudy’s activity on the offensive glass and his ability to run the floor in transition have made him nearly as important to what the Wolves are doing on offense too.

Rudy Gobert for MVP?

How well is Gobert playing? Well, players, fans, analysts and media members around the league have taken notice and Twitter can sometimes feel like a Rudy Gobert hype machine that’s seconds away from self-combusting.

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Just about everyone has him back in front of the pack for Defensive Player of the Year. Others have taken their views on Rudy’s game to another level… an MVP level even.

It’s no surprise that most of Rudy’s MVP hype is coming locally. Beyond the local bias, Timberwolves fans and media members watch Gobert and the Wolves play far more often and a lot closer than those nationally.

So, let’s take a deeper dive. Is the Rudy Gobert MVP hype legitimate? Does he deserve to be in that conversation? Does he have any real chance at winning?

Gobert Leads DPOY Odds at +150, Anthony Davis Trails at +600

Let’s start with Defensive Player of the Year, where the towering 7-foot-1 center is far and away the favorite to win. He currently holds the leading odds (+150) on prominent sportsbooks such as FanDuel and DraftKings, with Anthony Davis trailing as the closest (but not really close) competitor (+600).

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Okay, so get on with it. What about MVP? Does Rudy Gobert really have a chance to win NBA Most Valuable Player, just one year after he was being called the NBA’s Herschel Walker of blockbuster trades?

Rudy Gobert’s MVP Chances, Overlooked by Some Betting Books

Well, if you really believe it can happen, now would be a really good time to put your money where your mouth is. Though you might find it challenging at most sportsbooks. Not only is sports betting still illegal in Minnesota but, even if you can place legal bets, finding a sportsbook to take one on Gobert for MVP might prove difficult.

Neither FanDuel or DraftKings have Gobert on their MVP betting slips. I did find them at, where you can get him for… wait for it… +20000. That means, for those who aren’t degenerate gamblers, that betting $100 on Gobert winning MVP would pay out $20,000 if it hit.

In Gobert’s defense, those odds are better than his teammate Karl-Anthony Towns’ (+30000). Anthony Edwards, who these sportsbooks see as the Timberwolves only semi-realistic MVP candidate right now, is +3000. Nikola Jokic is the current NBA MVP favorite on most sites, at around +185 (FanDuel).

SiteAnthony EdwardsKarl-Anthony TownsRudy Gobert 
FanDuel+3000+30000Not Listed 
DraftKings+3000+30000Not Listed

Emerging as Potential Team MVP Despite Edwards’ Higher Betting Odds

Even if Anthony Edwards has better odds of winning league MVP, Gobert will have a really good argument for team MVP if the Minnesota Timberwolves continue winning like they have to start the season.

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When Edwards went out last week with a hip injury and missed games against Utah and Charlotte, his absence was hardly noticeable. Not with Gobert controlling games on defense and pushing his limits on the offense. He, Towns and Conley just over and everyone slots in around them.

On Friday night vs the Grizzlies, Edwards re-injured his hip injury early on. So, Gobert stepped up and delivered a 16 points, 20 rebound (9 on the offensive glass), 6 blocks performance as the Wolves walked to another 20+ point victory. 

Powering Timberwolves and MVP Hopes with Outstanding Play

Rudy Gobert’s impact on the Minnesota Timberwolves is undeniable, both in the race for individual accolades and the team’s overall success. As he leads the charge in the Defensive Player of the Year race, his exceptional contributions should make him a formidable contender for MVP, whether the rest of the basketball world sees it or not.

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