Rockets guard James Harden on Friday was named a finalist to repeat as NBA Most Valuable Player, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder as finalists.
Harden is expected to finish in the top two for the fourth time in five seasons when the awards are announced June 24 in Los Angeles. Antetokounmpo or George would be first-time winners. Both are Defensive Player of the Year finalists along with last season's winner, Jazz center Rudy Gobert.
There were few surprises among the lists of finalists.
The Suns Deandre Ayton, Mavericks' Luka Doncic and Hawks' Trae Young are the finalists for rookie of the year.