#NBArank 1: LeBron James

For the sixth season in a row, ESPN.com is ranking the top players in the NBA. Who will be the best player this season?

To get the final ranking, we asked our expert panel to vote on pairs of players.

LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry. Russell Westbrook vs. Kevin Durant. Damian Lillard vs. Chris Paul.

We asked, "Which player will be better in 2016-17?" To decide, voters had to consider both the quality and the quantity of each player's contributions to his team's ability to win games.

If you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along, #NBArank is the Twitter hashtag to use. You also can follow along @ESPNNBA and on Facebook.

On to the list ...

1. LeBron James

Insider profile: During the 2015-16 regular season, James appeared rankled as Stephen Curry surpassed him as the consensus best player in the world. In the NBA Finals, James reclaimed that mantle by reincorporating the defense and shooting that had sometimes abandoned him since his return to Cleveland. James shot 34.4 percent on shots outside the paint in 2015-16 after struggling on jumpers in the 2015 playoffs, reducing his scoring to bully ball that proved inefficient at times against elite defensive wings. In his big games during the Finals, James hit from outside, opening up his pick-and-roll game and allowing him to blow by defenders forced to crowd him in isolation. If opponents help, James retains the vision only Larry Bird and Magic Johnson could match at his size. Read more »

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