Russell Westbrook — MVP?

Vegas predicts an MVP trophy for the Brodie

Soon.

With the Thunder’s regular season opener still 71 days away, fans are forced to wait in anticipation to see how this new-look OKC team will compete. We all know Russell Westbrook will show up every night ready for war — and it appears odds-makers in Las Vegas are aware of that, too. He’s currently the favorite to take home the 2016–17 NBA MVP award.

Westbrook, who is coming off back-to-back fourth place finishes in MVP voting, appears primed for his most impressive statistical season to date. In the absence of Kevin Durant (who’s projected to finish 4th in the voting), the fiery Thunder point guard will be forced to pick up the slack. If the past is any guide, we should expect Westbrook to respond with unbelievable numbers. Triple-doubles galore.

Of course — the team’s success will also play a large role in how far Westbrook can go toward winning his first MVP. The gaudiest numbers don’t always produce the most hardware, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find any one player who means more to his team’s success next season. This is a Thunder squad that appeared lottery-bound had he not re-upped on his contract. His presence alone changes the outlook entirely.

Coming off a season that saw him put up career-high rebound and assist numbers, fans should be prepared for a full blown Hurricane Westbrook in 2016–17. He’s got my vote if we’re predicting the Most Valuable Player.