LeBron James (5/6) is the obvious choice and clear favorite to win the award come seasons end. LeBron is at a place much like Michael Jordan, where he is the best player on the planet and probably should win the NBA MVP every season. Like Jordan, LeBron won’t win the award every season. It takes a special season, much like Kevin Durant, last season to take home the award. There are a handful of guys who could provide some serious competition for King James this season.
(16/1) Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry has the potential to have a special season. New head coach Steve Kerr comes in to help the Warriors continue to improve in the tough Western Conference. If Curry can have a season where the Warriors fight for the top spot in the West and Curry can win the scoring title, a MVP season is in the cards.
(6/1) Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant has a fracture in his right foot and will be sidelined to start the season. In order for Durant to have a real shot to win this award, he would have to return before December, when he is expected to be back on the court. Durant is the OKC franchise and I don’t expect the Thunder to rush him back. Its much more likely he returns in 2015, than 2014.
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(16/1) Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder
With Durant sidelined until December, Westbrook and not Durant, is the best bet if there is an MVP from the Thunder this season. Westbrook has the skills to be an MVP. If he can have the Thunder at or near the top of the Western Conference while Kevin Durant is out, he would not only have a real shot to be in the mix for the award, but it would allow the Thunder to be patient with Durant. Westbrook would need to average a double-double and have impressive performances, but the opportunity is there.
(10/1) Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls
Derrick Rose MUST STAY HEALTHY. While this is a huge caveat for a player that has battled the nagging injuries for the past three seasons, when healthy he is a potential to be an MVP, and has an award in his trophy case to prove it. A healthy Rose would be huge boost for a Bulls team that added a ton of depth and shooting. Rose could carry the Bulls to a Eastern Conference finals meeting with Lebron and the Cavaliers, and possibly farther. The injury risk is a real concern, but the reward could be even greater.
(50/1) Dwight Howard – Houston Rockets
This may be my favorite outside of LeBron to win the trophy. While it has been a few season since Howard was the NBA MVP, his potential to hoist the award come seasons end is an absolutely reality. Howard is another year recovered from the back injury that slowed his production. He was impressive in the playoffs last season, and looks to build on that performance into this season. Howard could average a double-double, have the Rockets among the elite in the West and put himself in position to be the MVP.