Rose: Durant is front-runner for MVP

Derrick Rose likes the Thunder's Kevin Durant as MVP this season. Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls guard and reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose said Friday he believes Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant is the front-runner for this season's award.

“KD is playing great,” Rose said. “I’m hearing about what he’s doing, hearing about how he’s playing. The numbers speak for itself, how he’s working out this summer, and he’s playing great basketball.

“(Kevin Love) K-Love been putting in work, too, but I think KD.”

Durant averages 27.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks for the Western Conference-leading Thunder.

Rose is unlikely to repeat as MVP due to missed time this season. He has sat out 17 games because of a variety of injuries and could miss his eighth straight on Friday against the Detroit Pistons. He’s a game-time decision.