On Wednesday, the ESPN Forecast panel ranked its top three choices for the 2017-18 NBA MVP, with a first-place vote receiving five points, a second-place vote receiving three and a third-place vote receiving one. Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant ran away with the results, garnering 116 points, beating out LeBron James (88), Kawhi Leonard (58), James Harden (48) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (29).
Surprisingly, reigning MVP Russell Westbrook finished sixth with 20 points, despite coming off a historic campaign in which he became only the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season (Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson was the first). Stephen Curry, just two years removed from his second MVP campaign, garnered only 19 points in the vote.
Does Durant deserve to be the favorite for next season's award? Vote below on your pick to take the hardware:
Durant, who missed 20 games to injury in 2016-17, averaged 25.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists for the Warriors, shooting 53.7 percent from the floor. He was named NBA Finals MVP after leading the Warriors in scoring in every game, averaging 28.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 55.6 percent -- including 44.2 percent from 3-point range.
-- Brendan C. Hall