While full of praise for his former teammate, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook refused to outright state whether James Harden deserved to be this year's recipient of the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award.

Harden emerged as the heavy favorite to win the MVP award for the first time in his career, as his 30.6 points, 8.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game helped the Houston Rockets clinch the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and currently boast a 64-16 regular season record.

But despite Harden's Rockets now being the favorites to win the NBA playoffs, which begin this week, Westbrook is still unsure if the 28-year-old should win the award.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook Despite praising James Harden, Russell Westbrook (right) is unsure if he should win NBA MVP. Pictured: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives to the basket against Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) during the fourth quarter in game four of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Photo: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

"I'm not sure [if Harden should win MVP]," Westbrook said, as per ESPN. "Obviously, he's having a good year, a great year. Their team has the best record in the NBA. I'm not sure."

Westbrook won the MVP award last year after averaging a triple-double, but has less of a claim this year as the Thunder have underwhelmed this season despite his average of 25.6 points, 10.1 assists and 9.8 rebounds per game.

There are other candidates for the award, such as Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who despite the circumstances the 2016 NBA champions faced this season, registered one of the best individual seasons of his 15-year career averaging 27.7 points, 9.2 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game.

"I would vote for me," James recently said. "The body of work, how I’m doing it, what’s been happening with our team all year long, how we’ve got so many injuries and things of that nature, guys in and out, to be able to still keep this thing afloat, I definitely would vote me."

"I’ve said it. Obviously, I’ve had some unbelievable seasons before, but I’ve said it: This is the best I can go, just from a complete basketball player standpoint," he added.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis is another candidate for the award as his 28.2 points, 2.3 assists and 11.1 rebounds per game helped the Western Conference side to the No. 5 seed with a current record of 46-34.

However, Westbrook has no pick for who he thinks should win as he questioned the different criterion used every year, although he admits Harden is the favorite at this point.

"Nah, I don't have a pick," Westbrook explained. "There's a lot of guys doing a lot of great things in the league. Honestly, I don't know kind of what you go off of, because MVP's kind of been picked differently every year."

"So it depends what criteria, what it is that you guys vote for. But obviously he's [Harden] leading the charge at the moment."

Westbrook was speaking before Thunder's 108-102 win over the Rockets on Saturday night as he later registered 24 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Harden, meanwhile, collected 26 points, nine assists and four rebounds but it was not enough to prevent a second loss in four games for the Rockets.