ESPN Summer Forecast: LeBron James, Anthony Davis Ranked In Top-Five To Win 2019-20 NBA MVP
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With so much player movement and changes taking place in the 2019 NBA offseason, the MVP race is shaping up to be one of the most crowded in league history.

So many players have something to prove and LeBron James and Anthony Davis are chief among them for the Los Angeles Lakers.

After suffering his first true injury and missing the 2019 NBA playoffs, James has come under an immense level of criticism with some wondering if he’s finally breaking down. Davis, on the other hand, was finally traded and now has his best chance at playoff success. After missing so many games, Davis will be looking to remind people just how good he is.

All of this surely came into account in ESPN’s annual NBA Summer Forecast. When it came to who will win MVP, both James and Davis ranked in the top-five, but Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the pack:

The superstar duos across the league help two recent MVPs in this vote. As the clear No. 1 options on their teams, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry take the lead for our panel, followed by a deep crowd.

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo | Milwaukee Bucks: 90 points (30.3% first-place votes)

2. Stephen Curry | Golden State Warriors: 63 points (27.3% first-place votes)

3. LeBron James | Los Angeles Lakers: 34 points (12.1% first-place votes)

4. Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers: 33 points (15.2% first-place votes)

5. Anthony Davis | Los Angeles Lakers: 25 points (9.1% first-place votes)

6. Nikola Jokic | Denver Nuggets: 19 points (3% first-place votes)

7. Kawhi Leonard | LA Clippers: 16 points (3% first-place votes)

Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry being the favorites makes a lot of sense considering their circumstances. The former could be even more motivated following playoff disappointment while the latter will be the clear top option for the first time in years with the Golden State Warriors.

The question is whether the duos can hurt each other when it comes to an award like this. Oftentimes two All-Star players can split the vote as it is unclear who is the real catalyst for a team and that is a real possibility with the Lakers. Both Davis and James are capable of putting up unreal numbers, but unless one really pushes for the other in the media, it could easily lead to a split vote.

Regardless, the field is absolutely crowded this season with All-Star players like Paul George, James Harden, and Damian Lillard not even making the list. James and Davis will be motivated, but so will a lot of other players in this exciting season.