The season is early, but even last week I had my pick for MVP, and it’s Elena Delle Donne. Yes, an overwhelming majority of the league’s GMs picked Maya Moore to be MVP this year, in fact, 67% of GMs picked Moore, while only 17% picked Delle Donne, with another 17% going with Nneka Ogwumike. But as the season has started, Delle Donne is already showing us why she will be MVP come September.
After an injury riddled season and only 9 appearances last year, Delle Donne is already having a breakout season. Through 3 games, and granted, it’s only 3 games, but she is averaging 32.7 points per game, which is 12 more points than anyone else in the league. But what is more telling, is that she’s getting those points on more shot attempts than anyone else as well, but she’s make a higher percentage of those shots than anyone else as well. She’s shooting 53 percent, and she is averaging 7.3 rebounds and 2.67 blocks per game. She has also taken the most free throws and has the best FT percentage of any player with more than 5 attempts at 96.4 percent.
Now, like I said, I understand that the season is early, it’s only been 3 games, but I think Delle Donne has the talent, the youth, and motivation to lead her team back to WNBA Finals, and to her first MVP. Does Maya Moore have the talent and experience to do the same? Yes, but she also has plenty of help in Seimone Augustus, Rebecca Brunson, and Lindsay Whalen. Nneka Ogwumike also has and will have help with Jantel Lavender, Kristi Toliver, off-season acquisition Erin Phillips, and when she returns, 2 time MVP Candace Parker. Meanwhile, Delle Donne will be without center Sylvia Fowles who demanded a trade and is sitting out the season waiting to play for someone else. Outside of Cappie Pondexter and Courtney Vandersloot, Della Donne doesn’t have a lot of help, with the Chicago Sky finding themselves in a year of possible transition and growth, with plenty of youth and potential to improve.
With all that in mind, do I agree that Maya Moore and Nneka Ogwumike will be the most important and valuable players on their teams? Yes. But will they be as valuable as Delle Donne will be and has been so far this season? No. And will Delle Donne put up the numbers to validate her as league MVP, the award not just given to a team’s MVP, but the player generally agreed as the league’s best player? I believe that she can, and I believe that she will. That is why I believe Elena Delle Donne, not her strongest competitors Maya Moore or Nneka Ogwumike, will be the 2015 MVP.