LeBron James is playing on a different level these playoffs but the Cavaliers star will not win his fifth MVP award.
The NBA announced three finalists for its first-ever awards show on Friday and James didn’t make the cut despite averaging 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists during the regular season.
Instead the honor will go to either Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook or James Harden. Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double this past season, is currently listed as the favorite to win.
The Rockets, Spurs and Warriors are well represented with a host of finalists. Here are the candidates for each major category. The winners will be announced on June 26 at the inaugural awards show on TNT.
Most Valuable Player
Coach of the Year
Sixth Man of the Year
Rookie of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Most Improved Player
Block of the Year
Hassan Whiteside on Pascal Siakam
Kristaps Porzingis on Spencer Dinwiddie
Kawhi Leonard on James Harden
Game-Winner of the Year
Tyler Uulis vs. Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving vs. Golden State Warriors
Russell Westbrook vs. Denver Nuggets
Assist of the Year
Draymond Green to Stephen Curry to Kevin Durant
Nikola Jokic to Wilson Chandler
Chris Paul to Brandon Bass
Dunk of the Year
Larry Nance Jr. on Brook Lopez
Zach LaVine on Alex Len
Victor Oladipo on Dwight Howard
Performance of the Year
James Harden vs. Knicks
Devin Booker vs. Celtics
Russell Westbrook vs. Magic
Klay Thompson vs. Pacers