NBA MVP POWER RANKINGS: Where The Top Players Stand After 8 Weeks

With LeBron James struggling to adjust with his new teammates and Kevin Durant missing so many games, this season’s MVP race is the most wide open in years.

Using Player Efficiency Rating (PER, avg=15.00), Win Shares, and Wins Above Replacement (WAR), as well as team performance, we ranked the top players who can make a case for the MVP award so far.

After eight weeks, James Harden, Stephen Curry, and Anthony Davis are the favourites. But there are eight other players who can still crash the party.

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

Team Record (rank in conference): 14-13 (8)

PER (rank): 33.50 (1)

Win Shares (rank): 5.6 (1)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 4.51 (6)

One thing to know: Anthony Davis may be the best player in the NBA right now. He is third in scoring (24.7 ppg), top in blocks (2.92 bpg), 11th in rebounds (10.2 rpg) and leads the NBA in several advanced metrics including PER and Win Shares. But his team is a borderline playoff team, and despite all his dominance on defence, the Pelicans are giving up 102.4 points per game, more than 22 teams in the NBA.

2. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Team Record (rank in conference): 22-3 (1)

PER (rank): 26.92 (5)

Win Shares (rank): 4.9 (4)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 5.76 (1)

One thing to know: Stephen Curry is averaging 23.5 points per game (6th in the NBA) despite playing just 33.7 minutes per game. Among the top 15 scorers in the NBA, only Dwyane Wade players fewer minutes per game (32.7).

3. James Harden, Houston Rockets

Team Record (rank in conference): 20-7 (1)

PER (rank): 25.04 (9)

Win Shares (rank): 5.1 (3)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 5.07 (3)

One thing to know: James Harden is leading the NBA with a career-high 27.0 points per game. He is also averaging a career-high 6.2 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. But most importantly, Harden is suddenly a good defender, averaging 2.0 steals per game. In the history of the NBA, only Michael Jordan and LeBron James have averaged 26 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals per game over an entire season.

4. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Team Record (rank in conference): 19-9 (6)

PER (rank): 25.58 (7)

Win Shares (rank): 5.2 (2)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 4.81 (4)

One thing to know: Chris Paul is quietly having an MVP-calibre season in Los Angeles. His 49.6% shooting overall and 39.8% on 3-point shots are both his best marks in at least five years.

5. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Team Record (rank in conference): 16-10 (5)

PER (rank): 25.42 (8)

Win Shares (rank): 3.8 (10)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 3.89 (10)

One thing to know: LeBron's 25.2 points per game are his lowest scoring average since his rookie year. But most importantly, the Cavs have lacked consistency so far and would be just the no. 5 seed in the weak Eastern Conference if the season ended today.

6. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Team Record (rank in conference): 13-15 (10)

PER (rank): 32.30 (2)

Win Shares (rank): 2.5 (39)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 1.80 (53)

One thing to know: Russell Westbrook has only played 14 games so far this season, but they have been impressive, averaging 27.4 points and 7.2 assists per game. At one point many were worried the Thunder would be too far behind the playoff chase by the time Kevin Durant came back. But the Thunder are right in the thick of the hunt and are going to be a scary no. 7 or no. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

7. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Team Record (rank in conference): 19-9 (6)

PER (rank): 22.78 (18)

Win Shares (rank): 3.4 (14)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 3.25 (17)

One thing to know: Blake Griffin is now an outside shooter and a more lethal weapon. But as long as Chris Paul is having such a good year, Griffin is going to lose votes.

8. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Team Record (rank in conference): 13-15 (10)

PER (rank): 28.38 (3)

Win Shares (rank): 1.3 (124)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 0.69 (142)

One thing to know: Kevin Durant has already missed 19 games this season but he is still one of the three best players in the NBA and has added the most unguardable shot in the NBA to his arsenal.

9. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

Team Record (rank in conference): 22-7 (1)

PER (rank): 23.72 (10)

Win Shares (rank): 4.6 (7)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 4.78 (5)

One thing to know: The Toronto Raptors are the best team in the Eastern Conference and Kyle Lowry is the biggest reason why, averaging 20.0 points and 7.7 assists per game. Not bad for a guy who averaged just 10.3 points per game in his first seven seasons in the NBA.

10. Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

Team Record (rank in conference): 21-7 (3)

PER (rank): 23.25 (12)

Win Shares (rank): 3.8 (9)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 3.03 (23)

One thing to know: Marc Gasol became a vegetarian to lose weight and is heading towards a huge payday as next summer's most important free agent.

11. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers

Team Record (rank in conference): 22-7 (2)

PER (rank): 22.88 (16)

Win Shares (rank): 3.7 (12)

Wins Above Replacement (rank): 3.07 (22)

One thing to know: The Trail Blazers have the second best record in the NBA and LaMarcus Aldridge is the biggest reason averaging 22.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.

Now check out the college football coaches who make the most money.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.