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San Antonio Spurs: NBA GMs think Kawhi Leonard wins 2017-18 MVP

By Rob Wolkenbrod
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 13: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 13, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 13: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 13, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Some NBA General Managers feel that San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard will win the 2017-18 NBA MVP Award.

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard grew into one of the NBA’s best players over the past two seasons. His scoring rose, along with his placement on the Spurs’ roster. It led him to be the team’s superstar and a candidate for NBA MVP in 2016-17.

Leonard did not win the MVP Award, as he finished in third place. Russell Westbrook (first place) and James Harden (second place) were ahead of him.

Given the NBA’s current crop of talent, it will be difficult for the Claw to pry his way through and win the 2017-18 MVP honors. However, according to the recently-released NBA General Manager Survey for the upcoming season, some executives feel he will take this award home, as he received the third-most votes. The GMs did not place him in the 2016-17 survey.

  1. LeBron James (50 percent)
  2. Kevin Durant (29 percent)
  3. Kawhi Leonard (11 percent)
  4. James Harden (7 percent)
  5. Stephen Curry (4 percent)

Despite finishing third in last season’s voting, Leonard placed over Harden and Westbrook, who did not make the top five. He also went ahead of Curry, a two-time NBA MVP.

The top-five placement is not a surprise for Leonard, who is seen as one of the NBA’s best players. He leads one of the league’s top teams and should be in for another top-end statistical season on offense, while providing stellar defense.

The Spurs will need every bit of Leonard this season, as he is out with a quad injury that will sideline him for all five preseason games. They did not have him for most of the 2017 Western Conference Finals, either, and that led to a series sweep by the Golden State Warriors.

Next: 5 reasons Kawhi Leonard will win 2018 NBA MVP

Leonard will enter his seventh season for the Spurs on Wednesday, Oct. 18, when the team kicks off their 2017-18 campaign against the Minnesota Timberwolves. From there, let’s see if he plays to the MVP expectations that some GMs have for him.

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