In alphabetical order:
Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
Chandler may not fit the mold of a typical MVP candidate (he hardly scores), but he's been contributing in more subtle ways to his team's success this season.
He's fifth in the league in terms of win shares, according to Basketball-Reference. He's also eighth in the league in terms of rebounds per game (10.9), and he's averaging a career-high 12.4 points per game for the Knicks.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Of anyone in the honorable mentions list, Curry is the most likely to move into the top 10 soon. He's averaging career highs in points (20.5), assists (6.6) and three-point attempts (6.8) per game, but he's also drilling a career-high 46.1 percent of those three-pointers.
The only slight concern? Curry hyperextended his right knee during a loss against Denver on Jan. 13. It remains to be seen how he's affected by the injury, if at all, but it's worth watching.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Surprised to see Griffin mentioned in the fringe MVP discussion? Don't be. His per-game stats of 17.7 points and 8.4 rebounds are career lows for him, but he's also playing a career-low 31.8 minutes per game due to the Clippers' astounding depth.
What's truly impressive about Griffin in 2012-13 are his defensive numbers. He ranks 10th in the league in points per possession allowed (0.69), according to SynergySports (subscription required), and despite the career low in minutes, he's averaging a career-high 1.5 steals per game.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Will Lillard ever hit the feared "rookie wall"? At this point, it doesn't appear so. He dropped 37 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in a loss to the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 11, and he is averaging 18.2 points, 6.5 assists and 3.6 boards per game for Portland.
He was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in both November and December, and appears all but a lock for the Rookie of the Year award.
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
Surprise, surprise, look who's back from the dead. The Celtics are winners of six of seven, only two and a half games behind Brooklyn for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference, and Rondo has dropped two triple-doubles in his past five games.
Rondo continues to lead the league in assists per game (11.2) and will soon move up in these rankings if the Celtics can maintain their winning ways.
Dropped from rankings: Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
Just missed the cut: Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers