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NBA award finalists 2017: LeBron James not a candidate to win MVP

Official News · 

LeBron James is playing on a different level these playoffs but the Cavaliers star will not win his fifth MVP award. 

The NBA announced three finalists for its first-ever awards show on Friday and James didn't make the cut despite averaging 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists during the regular season.

Instead the honor will go to either Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook or James Harden. Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double this past season, is currently listed as the favorite to win.

The Rockets, Spurs and Warriors are well represented  with a host of finalists. Here are the candidates for each major category. The winners will be announced on June 26 at the inaugural awards show on TNT. 

MVP: Spurs' Kawhi Leonard, Thunder's Russell Westbrook and Rockets' James Harden. 

Coach of the Year: Heat's Erik Spoelstra, Rockets' Mike D’Antoni and Spurs' Gregg Popovich. 

Rookie of the Year: 76ers' Joel Embiid, Bucks' Malcolm Brogdon and 76ers' Dario Saric. 

Defensive Player of the Year: Spurs' Kawhi Leonard, Jazz's Rudy Gobert, and Warriors' Draymond Green. 

Sixth Man of the Year: Rockets' Eric Gordon, Rockets' Lou Williams and Warriors' Andre Iguodala.

Most Improved Player: Jazz's Rudy Gobert, Nuggets' Nikola Jokic and Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo.