In alphabetical order...
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Is it possible for Griffin to average 20-to-25 points and 10-to-15 rebounds per game while leading the Clippers to a Top Three seed in the Western Conference this coming season? Assuming his medial meniscus is all healed up from offseason surgery, sure, why not?
Does he have a teammate who's almost certain to be more responsible for just how far the Clippers go this season? Will you see him later on this list? There's a good chance.
Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers will have no shortage of MVP candidates this season, between Nash, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. Of the three, the 38-year-old Nash is least likely to take home the award, despite having more MVPs to his name than Bryant and Howard combined.
He may be the conductor of the Lakers' offense, but he's got two younger teammates who will command most of the team's possessions this season. Unless Nash somehow goes back to his nights of averaging 20 points and 10 assists on 50-40-90 shooting, he's not even the MVP favorite on his own team.
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Speaking of not being the MVP favorite on his own team...how about Dwyane Wade, teammate of three-time MVP LeBron James?
The 30-year-old Wade will start the year limited after offseason knee surgery and has sharpshooter Ray Allen to back him up at the 2. There's a good chance Wade will average a career low in minutes played this year, which isn't the typical route to an MVP award.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Like Nash and Wade, Westbrook won't be the MVP favorite even on his own team, as teammate Kevin Durant has led the league in scoring for each of the past three years.
If Westbrook somehow learns to rein in his often-reckless shot selection and averages LeBron James-esque numbers, he's got an outside shot at the MVP. Otherwise, he'll need Durant to have an off year and still guide the Thunder to the No. 1 seed in the West to have any sort of realistic chance.
Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
One NBA scout told Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick that he expects an MVP-type season from Williams, now that he's got Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and a healthy Brook Lopez at his disposal.
If Williams can maintain his momentum from the Olympics this summer, helping establish the Nets as the better of the two New York teams in the first year of this new rivalry, he'll have a strong media contingent pushing for his MVP candidacy.