Which Heat Player Can Win The 2016 NBA MVP Award?

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The Miami Heat have only had one MVP winner in franchise history: Lebron James. James won the MVP in back-to-back seasons in 2011-2012, where James averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists, and the 2012-13 season, where James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists. The last eight MVP trophy winners, have been either a small forward, or guard. So when we think about which Heat player can win the MVP award, this would lead you to think that Dwyane Wade or even Goran Dragic would have the best shot at bringing home the hardware.

Wade, 33, averaged 21.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 62 contests last season. Even though Wade had a highly productive season last year, it was hardly worthy of being the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. While the Heat are undeniably better with Wade on the floor(+6 offensive rating when on), he does not put up the kind of super star numbers the voters look to when choosing an MVP. Wade, has also missed a combined 48 games due to injury in the past two seasons; and while much of the blame for Wade’s inability to stay on the court has been attributed to his knees, he did not miss a single contest due to a knee issue last season.

Goran Dragic has never made an All-Star team, let alone garnered any MVP support amongst fans and voters alike. Dragic is an immensely talented guard who is less than two years removed from being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player, and is absolutely vital to Miami’s title hopes. With averages of 16.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists he would need to explode as both a scorer and a passer if he is to overtake reigning MVP Stephen Curry, who averaged 23.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 7.7 assists. Dragic would need to up his production across the board if he wanted to vault himself into the conversation; Dragic, 29, is one of the more elite finishers in the NBA and he will have plenty of scoring and assisting opportunities running the point for Miami this season.

This brings up to the one player I, and others in and around the NBA, feel has the best chance to bring home an MVP trophy for Miami: Chris Bosh.

Bosh, 31, was supposed to be an MVP candidate for Miami last year, until his season was cut short by blood clots in his lungs. Bosh was 4th among power forwards, and 14th in the NBA in scoring with 21.1 points, and 46th in the league pulling down seven rebounds a game. Right away its obvious that Bosh would need to up both his scoring a few ticks per game, as well as become a more tenacious rebounder.

In the past 15 seasons, only three power forwards have been able to win the MVP for their team: Tim Duncan (2001-03), Kevin Garnett (2003-04), and Dirk Nowitzki (2006-07). Their combined average stats are 24.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. Looking closer, Nowitzki’s MVP season is the only one that matches the type of output Bosh is capable of. Nowitzki averaged 24.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists that season, and while hitting those marks would require icnreased production across the board from Bosh, it is nothing that would require extreme upticks in his averages.

Back in 2009-10 with Toronto, Bosh put up 24 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. While Bosh is five seasons removed from that production, Bosh hasn’t been the top dog on a team since that time. Now that Bosh is in control of this Miami team, he has the opportunity to put up numbers similar to that 2009-10 season, or even Dirk’s 2006-07 season. Chris Bosh will have every opportunity this coming season to lead this Heat team deep into the playoffs, and possibly take home some individual accolades in the process. Bosh could use this upcoming season to find some closure to his legacy and put him on the path to having his jersey hung up in the rafters of American Airlines Arena.