Top 5 MVP candidates heading into 2019-20 NBA season

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports /
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3. James Harden

James Harden has been the butt of many playoff disappearance jokes, but he seems to be a victim of his own greatness. After averaging an absurd 36.1 points per game, Harden has solidified himself as one of the greatest isolation scorers in NBA history, but it’s undeniable that his game — along with Mike D’Antoni’s heavy isolation offensive play style — may not translate into meaningful postseason success.

But with rampant speculation of the potential addition of two-way star Jimmy Butler to the Houston Rockets and the potential departure of Chris Paul (if anyone is bold enough to absorb his albatross of a contract), Harden, much like Anthony Davis, is quickly running out of excuses.

With the Golden State Warriors heading into an offseason of uncertainty, the top of the Western Conference is there for the taking. If the Beard can lead the Houston Rockets to a top-two seed in the West, along with his NBA 2K MyCareer-like numbers, he can expect to be in the midst of a fourth consecutive NBA MVP race.