The MVP race is heating up with the league’s best superstars playing at the highest level. Players are smarter and more athletic than ever, meaning that the best players in the world have an extraordinary impact on games.

The Los Angeles Lakers have looked supremely dominant as expected, but the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns have also been exceptional. Each of these teams have stars of their own, but only one player has reigned supreme in the league so far. Here is the current MVP Race in the NBA so far, headlined by Joel Embiid and LeBron James.

 

Honorable Mention

 

Kyrie Irving

2020-2021 Statistics: 27.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG

(via Yahoo! Sports)

Kyrie Irving has been sensational when he has played, but some games missed have caused the Brooklyn Nets to lose a couple more games than they should have. Irving has been the best player on Brooklyn so far this season, ahead of Kevin Durant, and his play will determine if the Nets can manage a top-2 seed in the East this year.

 

10. Devin Booker

2020-20201 Statistics: 22.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG

(via The Arizona Republic)

The Phoenix Suns have been the most surprising team in the NBA this season. We all knew the addition of Chris Paul would be enough to get Phoenix a top-5 seed in the West and a playoff berth, but the Suns have looked tremendous. While Paul has been the best leader on the squad, Devin Booker is the best scorer on the team and has benefited greatly from Paul’s presence and leadership. Booker is officially a go-to scorer and bonafide All-Star, so he is a part of the MVP race this season.

 

9. Damian Lillard

2020-20201 Statistics: 26.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.6 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG

The Portland Trail Blazers are capable of beating anyone on any given night, and Damian Lillard is the main reason for that. Lillard and Stephen Curry are the two best point guards in the NBA, and it is by quite a margin. Lillard is having yet another sensational season and he has shown he can be a primary scorer and playmaker by expanding his game over the years. Lillard is also the most clutch player in the league and can get buckets no matter who is guarding him.

 

8. Paul George

2020-20201 Statistics: 24.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.6 BPG

(via TalkBasket)

After a poor season in 2020, Paul George has been exceptional for the Clippers this year. The Clippers currently hold the third seed in the West and George has been the main reason why. Kawhi Leonard is the best player on the team but he has yet to find his footing this season, while George has gotten off to a hot start. Paul George is right in the MVP race again, as he was in 2019, and he must keep up this level of play for the Clippers to close the gap with the Lakers as the best overall team in the West.

 

7. Nikola Jokic

2020-20201 Statistics: 24.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 11.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.4 BPG

(via USA Today)

There is no debate that Nikola Jokic is one of the 2 best centers in the world, and he will most likely fight to be the face of the NBA once LeBron James hangs it up. Jokic is the best passing big man in NBA history and he affects the game in all areas due to his size and skill. The play of Jokic has been extraordinary, which is why he is closing in on the top-5 spot in the MVP race. However, the Nuggets have been inconsistent this season so far. Jokic has the skills to win an MVP Award, but he has to lead his team to more wins which will most likely happen once the roster starts clicking.

 

6. Jayson Tatum

2020-20201 Statistics: 26.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Credit: Boston Herald

Jayson Tatum is one of the best players in the NBA and has arrived as a superstar. Tatum has been sensational for the Celtics so far this season and he is developing a killer instinct similar to the likes of Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant in the clutch. Tatum has no fear of the moment, and already has 2 game-winning shots to his name this season. Tatum can take you inside or outside and has improved his all-around game exponentially. Tatum will be in the MVP race all year long, and we might get used to him being among the top-5 for years to come.

 

5. Luka Doncic

2020-20201 Statistics: 26.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 8.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Credit: USATSI

Luka is scary good at only 21 years old. Doncic has done everything for the Dallas Mavericks, and he is the sole reason why they are so hard to play against. He makes the game look so easy and has embarrassed other NBA superstars with the way he has made the league look like his playground. Doncic is once again filling up the stat sheet even if he is shooting a poor percentage from three. But Doncic has it all and is a major problem in clutch situations. Luka is the player that should take the throne after LeBron James, but he does have competition from another foreign superstar.

 

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo

2020-20201 Statistics: 27.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.9 BPG

The Greek Freak is once again having a terrific year. The Bucks look good, but they haven’t been as dominant as they have in past seasons. Still, Giannis is doing it all for Milwaukee and his max-contract extension has every Bucks fan breathing a sigh of relief. But the Bucks need to keep building a strong team around Giannis to help him make the NBA Finals because he is at risk of winning MVP Awards without any rings in a very competitive NBA landscape. So far, Giannis has been one of the 4 best players in the world and it isn’t close.

 

3. Stephen Curry

2020-20201 Statistics: 28.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.7 APG

(Randy Vazquez / Bay Area News Group)

As good as Damian Lillard has looked, Stephen Curry just can’t help himself by being the most impactful point guard in the league. Curry has single-handedly kept the Warriors in multiple games when they should have been blown out. His performance against the Clippers is an indication of what the Baby Faced Assassin can do against any team in the league, and is probably the scorer that strikes the most fear in opposing coaches’ hearts. Curry is the best shooter of all-time and he will be in the MVP running in 2021 even if the Warriors won’t contend for the NBA title.

 

2. LeBron James

2020-20201 Statistics: 24.6 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 7.8 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

(via Marca)

There is no question who the best player in the world is right now. LeBron James is smarter than any player in the league and has the power to win any game on his own. Having the likes of Anthony Davis on his team certainly helps, and the Lakers are the favorites for the NBA title again this season. James impacts the game better than anyone else in the NBA, and will always be in the top-2 running for the MVP Award every season. He has been the best player in the league, but only one player has surpassed him in the MVP race because his team keeps winning because of him.

 

1. Joel Embiid

2020-20201 Statistics: 24.6 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.8 BPG

Joel Embiid is finally playing like the best big man in the league. He is dominating the game for the Philadelphia 76ers, and certainly, the arrival of Doc Rivers has helped him immensely. Embiid looks very comfortable on the court and is toying with defenses at times. The Sixers superstar is immensely talented and he gets it done on both ends of the floor at a very high level. The Sixers have the best record in the NBA and Joel Embiid is the main reason for that. This means that Embiid is the favorite for the MVP Award after a few weeks into the 2021 regular season.

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