We’re in the middle of the most hotly contested NBA MVP race in years. Never have we been forced to choose among so many qualified candidates who are making history on a nightly basis for good teams. In a normal year, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, and James Harden would all be deserving.

But this is not a normal year, so we must pick one. Unfair as it may be to the three losers, this award can have only one winner. That does not diminish what all four players have accomplished, but it’s the reality of the situation.

To help us do that, we assembled a large crew for the first annual SB Nation NBA MVP debate. Our panelists:

Cleveland has not made up its mind at No. 1, per source. Split opinions. Some like Myles Garrett, some like Mitchell Trubisky. We will see.

Are the Browns really torn? It’s doubtful. The proverbial hay is in the barn at this point and this is probably nothing more than a smokescreen with Schefter’s source likely just trying to create some doubt surrounding the top pick with the draft just over two weeks away. It should be noted, however, that Trubisky is a Cleveland-area native.

That’s why I think it can be harder when those type of guys are going through competitions and stuff and like that because even though you’re trying to find the best guy, by trying to be fair to those quarterbacks you’re also being unfair to a team. You don’t really know what direction you’re going. So, if you have your pick of the best world, you’d like those guys to be somewhat similar, not just because that’s how you want the quarterbacks, just because of the work you’re doing for the rest of the guys on the roster.”
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