Five players have separated themselves as NBA MVP contenders through the first four weeks. There’s obviously plenty of time for stars like Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and Joel Embiid to join the fray, but other players have made a better case to be considered for the league’s top individual award.

Here are the top-five MVP candidates one month into the 2019-2020 NBA season:

Luka Doncic (29.9 pts, 10.6 rebs, 9.4 asts)

Doncic is the best story of the young NBA season. He’s somehow performing like a top-five player at just 20 years old. Scoring 31.9 points per game in November, Doncic is just the fifth player in NBA history to average a 30-point triple-double over any 10-game span. Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t even been that good, and Doncic still has the Dallas Mavericks at 9-5 and in contention to earn a top-four seed in the West. Doncic is fourth in scoring, 11th in rebounding and second in assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (30.5 pts, 13.8 rebs, 6.0 asts)

The reigning MVP is somehow better than he was a season ago. Antetokounmpo is averaging more points, rebounds and assists with a career-high 58.9 percent shooting from the field. He leads the league in PER and ranks second in both scoring and rebounds. Doing all that while the Milwaukee Bucks are tied for the best record in the East, it’s clear why Antetokounmpo is the betting favorite to win the award.

LeBron James (25.0 pts, 7.9 rebs, 11.1 asts)

Anthony Davis was supposed to be the Los Angeles Lakers’ MVP candidate this season, but it’s clearly been James. His first 14 games might be a sign that we were too quick to crown Kawhi Leonard the new best player in the NBA. The Lakers have the best record in basketball with James leading the way. He’s averaging nearly as many points as Davis while leading the league in assists. James is playing above-average defense and an important part of the NBA’s No.2 defensive team.

James Harden (38.4 pts, 5.8 rebs, 7.5 asts)

Harden could be on his way to a historic scoring season. He’s averaging close to eight points more than the league’s second highest-scorer, and it might not be long before he’s up to 40 points a night. Harden is only shooting 42.9 percent from the field, but his 14.2 free-throw attempts per game have made him an incredibly efficient scorer. The pairing between Harden and Russell Westbrook hasn’t derailed the Houston Rockets like some thought it might. Houston’s 11-4 record has the Rockets just 1.5 games behind the Lakers.

Pascal Siakam (25.1 pts, 8.8 rebs, 4.1 asts)

It will be a stunner if Siakam ends up winning the award, but he’s been a top-five candidate through one month. The Toronto Raptors were supposed to have a weak title defense, but Siakam has filled Leonard’s shoes and given the champs a top-seven record in the entire league. Siakam is probably the frontrunner to win the Most Improved Player award for a second straight year.

Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 2, 2018. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images