2022 WNBA MVP Contenders

A'ja Wilson of Las Vegas Aces

We are now past three weeks into the WNBA season and with that in mind, it is now time to start evaluating the possible WNBA MVP candidates for each of the top teams. This is going to be updated every week from now until the end of the regular season. Also, the WNBA MVP candidates may change throughout the season.

Listed below are the top players whom I feel are the MVP candidate as well as the detailed explanation of why they are the best candidate from their team.

With the interest of the WNBA steadily increasing, betting sites have started to include the WNBA among sports in which you can place bets on. One of them is BetMGM Sportsbook. They currently have two different promos running and are available in many states. There are a few limitations but they are common ones so just make sure to read the FAQ section before you start getting any bets in this season. Let’s move on to looking at the MVP candidates.

A’ja Wilson – Las Vegas Aces

Look out for the Las Vegas Aces. They are currently the best team in the WNBA with an 8-1 record and have won six games in a row. Per Her Hoop Stats, they are the best team in the league in points per game at 92.1. Per their top 2022 WNBA Players list that is available on the front page, they have three players from the Aces in the top 10. Jackie Young, A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum. Although Jackie Young is currently listed as the top player, Wilson is the best MVP candidate from the team.

She is the best MVP candidate for the team because of her ability to be able to be an effective scorer and rebounder. She’s currently putting up 16.4 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game. She’s played in all 9 games for the Aces so far and has 5 double-doubles already. She’s currently shooting 52.0% from the field and in the paint area, she’s even more effective at 55.7%. Her PER (Player Efficiency Rating) is 26.4 which is third in the league. Per 40 minutes, she’s third in the league in total rebounds with 13.9. In terms of shot blocking, Wilson is currently second in the league at 2.3 blocks per game. What’s even more impressive, is that she is currently top 3 in overall win shares, offensive win shares and defensive win shares. In total win shares, she has 1.9 which is second overall. In offensive win shares, she has 1.3 which is third overall. In defensive win shares, she has 0.6 which is second overall. Her ability to be among the best is clearly demonstrated by the numbers and is the MVP candidate for the Las Vegas Aces.

Brionna Jones – Connecticut Sun

The Connecticut Sun are the second best team in the league and are currently 6-2. They are keeping pace in where they left off last season in which they finished with the league’s best record at 26-6. They have last year’s WNBA MVP on their team in Jonquel Jones and have Alyssa Thomas back on their team as well. In terms of WNBA MVP candidates, the best candidate right now is Brionna Jones. This might be a surprise to many, but in the list of the top 2022 WNBA Players mentioned above, she is currently listed as the third best player and Thomas is listed just after her in fourth place. Jonquel Jones is currently listed in 14th place. 

The reason why Brionna Jones is the best MVP candidate for the Sun right now is because of her ability to make the most out of her minutes on the floor, regardless if she is starting or coming off the bench. She has played in all 8 games and has started 3 of them. She’s currently averaging 13.1 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game in just 26.7 minutes per game. She’s shooting 52.9% FG from the field and just like Wilson, she’s even more effective in the paint at 54.5%. She’s able to get to the free throw line as she attempts 4.5 free throws a game which is ninth in the league and is able to make 4.1 free throws a game as she is currently shooting 91.7% from the free throw line which is highly efficient. She’s currently 15th in the league in steals at 1.5 per game.

She’s making her impact well-known on the floor as she is currently third in the league in win shares at 1.7 and fifth in offensive win shares at 1.2. The most impressive stat is that she is the first in the league in win shares per 40 at 0.32. This proves how valuable of a player Brionna Jones is to the Connecticut Sun and what she provides for them.

Elena Delle Donne – Washington Mystics

The Washington Mystics are currently the third best team in the league at 6-3. They finally have Elena Delle Donne back healthy and it is paying off. Despite not playing all of the games so far due to rest. She is still by far the Mystics most important and valuable player on the team. She’s currently averaging 17.7 points per game which is eighth in the league and 6.5 rebounds per game. 

What separates Elena Delle Donne from her teammates is that she’s an incredibly effective scorer. Per 40 minutes, she scores 24.2 points which is sixth in the league. She’s shooting 48.7% FG, 55.1% in the paint and 37.9% from three. Her PER is 26.1 which is fourth in the league. She is also a top shot blocker as she is ninth in the league at 1.3 blocks per game. The former WNBA MVP and Finals MVP is still incredibly valuable as she is sixth in the league in win shares per 40 at 0.29 and seventh in offensive win shares at 0.19. 

Rhyne Howard – Atlanta Dream

The Atlanta Dream is one of the surprise teams in the WNBA and are currently fourth in the league at 5-3. One of the reasons why is because of the play of their #1 overall draft pick Rhyne Howard. She has come into the league and immediately has made her impact. She’s currently sixth on the list of top players. She’s already scored over 30 points and she did that in just her fourth game of the season! She’s currently averaging 16.9 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game, 1.5 steals per game and 0.9 blocks per game. She’s been incredibly versatile and been everywhere on the court so far. She’s currently shooting 40.6% FG, 42.6% from three and 76.5% from the free throw line. 

Her PER is 21.6 which is 15th in the league. Per 40 minutes, she’s 13th in the league in points at 22.4. Despite being a rookie, she’s making her presence well-known because in win shares, she has 1.6 which is sixth in the league. She’s eighth in the league in offensive win shares at 1.1 and fourth in defensive win shares at 0.6. In win shares per 40, it is 0.27 which is eighth in the league. 

Marina Mabrey – Dallas Wings

The Dallas Wings have shown improvement from last year and are currently the fifth best team in the league. They have a great player in Arike Ogunbowale, but the current MVP candidate for the Wings right now is Marina Mabrey. Like Brionna Jones, she’s been making her impact in her time on the floor. Despite only averaging 25.0 minutes per game, she’s averaging 14.9 points per game which is 17th in the league, 4.0 rebounds per game and 3.8 assists per game which is 19th in the league. She’s currently shooting 52.4% FG, 58.1% in the paint and 46.3% from three which is 10th in the league. 

Per 40 minutes, she’s putting up 23.8 points which is ninth in the league. She’s giving out 6.0 assists which is 20th in the league per 40 minutes. Most impressively, her PER is 21.5 which is 16th in the league. Her ability to be an effective scorer plus distributor is what ultimately separates her from Arike Ogunbowale as the Wings MVP candidate.

Breanna Stewart – Seattle Storm

The final MVP candidate among the top teams is Breanna Stewart from the Seattle Storm. The Storm are currently on a roll and have won four in a row. Breanna Stewart has played a role in that. She hasn’t played in all of the Storm’s games but when she has, she has made her impact. She’s currently averaging 20.7 points per game which is first in the league, 7.5 rebounds per game which is 11th in the league, 3.0 assists per game and is first in steals per game at 3.0. She’s currently shooting 45.3% FG, 50% in the paint and 35.5% from three. She’s shooting 84.4% from the free throw line. Those are impressive numbers for a possible WNBA MVP candidate.

Not only that, per 40 minutes, she’s first in points with 27.6 and her PER is 29.4 which is second in the league. She’s ninth in win shares at 1.4 and fifth in defensive win shares at 0.6. In win shares per 40, she’s third with 0.30. The former WNBA MVP and Finals MVP continues to show why she is one of the best players in the league and the current MVP candidate for the Storm.

That wraps up all the WNBA MVP contenders for this week. Remember to stay tuned every week to see whether or not players have moved up or down on the list and which new players could emerge or fall off from the list.

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