**Author’s Note: Candidates Are Updated Throughout The Season
Oklahoma City Thunder Guard Russell Westbrook
As expected, Westbrook is on a warpath this season and has the chance to put up historic numbers. He is averaging a triple-double as we are half way through this season, with over 30 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds. Westbrook was the huge favorite to win the award coming into the season, and has shown no disappointments so far.
Houston Rockets Guard James Harden
Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni has put Harden in the best position to succeed of his career. Harden is playing as the Steve Nash role in the infamous high-scoring Suns’ offense of the 2000s. Harden is a much-better pure scorer than Nash and now that he’s willing to distribute the ball as a point guard, he’s putting up an insane statline. Nash won back-to-back MVPs in 2005 and 2006 as the lead man in this system, and Harden hopes he can do the same.
San Antonio Spurs Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi is one of, if not the best, two-way player in the league. Kawhi always defends the opponent’s best player while scoring over 25 points per game. Leonard is the bloodline of the Spurs’ success and one of the most valuable assets in the league.
Cleveland Cavaliers Forward LeBron James
The King doesn’t have as high of a statline than Westbrook or Harden, but he is quietly putting up close to a triple-double every night. The former four-time MVP not may have the high numbers like he used to, but every sports fan knows that he is still the best player in the league and is the player you would do anything to have on your team. The front office knows that fans buy Cavaliers tickets to come and watch LeBron no matter what his statline is looking like.
Boston Celtics Guard Isaiah Thomas
The Celtics’ 5’9″ guard is not only one of the most confident players in the league, but he has developed into one of its most exciting scorers. Thomas has played he was into a top three scorer in the league, averaging over 29 points per game. He has over 10 30 point games this season, two 40 point outputs, and a 52-point game against Miami this season. He also leads the league with an average of 10.1 points in the 4th quarter.