20 Most Likely Players To Dethrone Lebron James as NBA MVP

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20 NBA Players Not Named Lebron Who Could MVP in 2013-14

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USA Today Sports

There's no doubt that Lebron James is the best basketball player in the world. He's silenced his critics over the last two years by finally breaking through and winning a couple of championships. Lebron is in the midst of his prime and it's going to be very difficult for someone to dethrone him as the game's best player.

But when it comes to the league MVP, the odds are much higher of someone snatching the award from the four-time winner. Voters don't always vote for the most talented player and that was proven in the Michael Jordan era. During MJ's prime you could make a case that he should have won MVP every season. He was just that good.

But the voting mentality that's in place doesn't just give the award to the top dog. Voters seem to want to spread the MVP around. Sometimes, players get 'career' MVP awards. There might not be a clear candidate to win and it will go a player who's worthy that's been close many times.

This list is packed with 20 players. It's a sure bet that by the end of the season, there won't even be close to 20 guys legitimately in the running for the coveted award. But there are always dark horse candidates and players who emerge as the season moves along. These are 20 players ranked from the lowest probability, to the highest probability of dethroning Lebron James. Enjoy:

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Blake Griffin

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USA Today Sports

Griffin is likely to have the best season of his career under new head coach Doc Rivers. The veteran coach is going to get the most out of Griffin and it could earn him some MVP votes by the end of the year.

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Russell Westbrook

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USA Today Sports

Westbrook's knee surgery all but guarantees him of missing out on the MVP this season, but you never know.

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Dwight Howard

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USA Today Sports

Howard's career needs a shot in the arm and it seems he's finally in a good place to make it happen in Houston. The center figures to be outshined by another player on this list, but you never know, he could have a monster season.

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Deron Williams

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USA Today Sports

Williams could have the best season of his career with the massive amount of talent surrounding him in Brooklyn. He's a long-shot to win the MVP, but it won't be surprising if he gets some votes when it's all said and done.

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Dirk Nowitzki

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USA Today Sports

Dirk is a long-shot to get MVP consideration at this point in his career and especially given the state of the Mavericks. But he's still the best player in Dallas.

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Marc Gasol

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USA Today Sports

Gasol's career has been on a major uptick over the last few seasons and 2013-14 figures to be his best season yet. Averaging a double-double with two blocks per game is not out of the question for the Grizzlies' big man.

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Kyrie Irving

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USA Today Sports

Going into the third year of his career and playing alongside Andrew Bynum, Irving should continue his rise to the top of the NBA. If the Cavs make the playoffs, Irving will get some MVP consideration.

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DeMarcus Cousins

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USA Today Sports

We'll see if Shaq's tutelage makes a big difference in Cousins' game this year. There's no question he has all the tools to be a huge star and 2013-14 could be his breakout season.

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John Wall

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USA Today Sports

After signing a mega-deal this summer with the Wizards, the pressure will be on Wall to deliver. The lack of talent around him hurts his chances of winning MVP, but a breakout season is looming for the former No. 1 pick.

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Kevin Love

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USA Today Sports

Love figures to be fully healthy again in 2013-14 and if his heart is in Minnesota, a huge season is in the cards. If he can carry the T-Wolves to near playoff contention, he'll easily get some MVP consideration.

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Paul George

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USA Today Sports

George is primed for a career season with the up and coming Pacers this season. He should break the 20 PPG mark and average close to eight rebounds and six assists per game.

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Al Horford

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USA Today Sports

Horford should easily average a double-double again this season and he'll finally be the Hawks go-to guy. A career season is line for the big man and he could grab some MVP votes at season's end.

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Tony Parker

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USA Today Sports

Parker reminded us all of how good he was last season. But the question moving forward - how much gas does he have left in the tank?

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Kobe Bryant

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USA Today Sports

Kobe will be back on the court sooner rather than later and he'll prove once again that he still belongs in the best conversation. He's clearly the best player on the Lakers and they'll go as far as the Black Mamba carries them.

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Stephen Curry

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USA Today Sports

Curry is one of the NBA's brightest young stars on one of the brightest young teams. He's primed for a monster campaign in 2013-14 and will no doubt be in the MVP conversation.

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Carmelo Anthony

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USA Today Sports

The Knicks might be doomed for another early-round playoff exit this season, but Anthony will have another stellar year behind huge offensive numbers.

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James Harden

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USA Today Sports

Harden thinks he belongs in the top 10 best players conversation and if he continues to evolve as a scorer, he'll end up in the MVP conversation. He'll have to share the spotlight with Howard in Houston, but I think it's clear whose team it is.

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Chris Paul

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USA Today Sports

Doc Rivers will do wonders for CP3's career. The Clippers are going to be really good and Paul will be blowing up stat sheets all season. There's no doubt the PG will be on the final MVP ballot.

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Derrick Rose

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USA Today Sports

You never know what a player is going to be like after sitting out a full season, but the safe bet is that Rose will regain his MVP form and lead the Bulls to the top of the Eastern Conference.

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Kevin Durant

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USA Today Sports

Durant is tired of being number two. There's also no question he has the talent and skill to be the best player in the NBA. With Westbrook on the shelf to start the season, KD will put up the biggest numbers of his career. Given all the circumstances, he's the most likely to dethrone James as the NBA's MVP in 2013-14.

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