|King James reigned in 2012|
King James won his third MVP award in four seasons and continued to dominate during the playoffs, ultimately securing the championship that eluded him in Cleveland. Later in the summer he led Team USA to another Gold medal with his strong play. He was just named Sportsman of the Year by SI.
2. Kevin Durant
Durantala won his third straight scoring title, finished runner-up to LBJ in the MVP voting and led OKC to their first Finals appearance.
3. Kobe Bryant
Came back from experimental knee surgery in Germany to challenge Durant for the scoring title during the strike-shortened season. With all eyes on the Lakers, he's currently pacing the Association points and points per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, which will set a new career high if he keeps it up.
4. Dwight Howard
Superman missed 18 percent of the strike-shortened season and still accrued more defensive rebounds, total rebounds and boards per game than anybody else. His production has sagged a bit with the Lakers but he's still averaging 17.7 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.
5. Chris Paul
CP3 was phenomenal in his Clippers debut by averaging nearly 20 points a game, leading the league in steals and placing third on the MVP ballot. With Derrick Rose still out, Paul's unquestionably the NBA's premier point guard.
6. Kevin Love
K-Love averaged 26 points, more than 13 rebounds and nearly two treys per game last season. His shooting has been a little rusty after he missed the first few weeks of the season with a broken right hand, but it's only a matter of time before he rounds into form.
7. Russell Westbrook
A rare breed of point guards that can pour in points and still rack up high assist totals. The indestructible athlete fearlessly attacks the basket and is one of the game's best at getting to the charity stripe, where he's a career 81.5 percent shooter.
8. Carmelo Anthony
'Melo disappointed in his first full season with the Knicks as he struggled to coexist with Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin. But with Lin on the Rockets and Stoudemire out with a knee injury, Anthony has regained his status as one of the game's elite players. His three-point production has tripled compared to his career average and his scoring has jumped from 22.6 points per game last year to 28.5 points per game this season.
9. Dwyane Wade
D-Wade has embraced his new role as Lebron's sidekick, the Robin to James' Batman. He's making more than half his field goals and has become a more efficient scorer. Not as explosive as he used to be, but still an incredible defender and superb all-around player.
10. Andrew Bynum
The oft-injured center managed to stay healthy during the abbreviated season and enjoyed a career year. Bynum set personal bests with 18.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game while displaying an improved post game and top notch defense. Since traded to Philadelphia, he's yet to make his Sixers debut as he recovers from a knee injury.
11. James Harden
Established himself as one of the top shooting guards in the NBA last season and was named Sixth Man of the year. Since being traded to Houston, he's become the focal point of the Rockets' offense and is putting up monster numbers as an everyday starter; 25.8 points, 5.3 dimes and ten free throw attempts per game.
12. Dirk Nowitzki
The lifelong Maverick posted his typically stellar all-around numbers last season despite averaging the fewest minutes per game since his rookie season. He missed the first third of this season recovering from knee surgery and struggled in his first two games back. Look for the German power forward to shake off the rust as he adapts to new teammates Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison.
Honorable Mention: Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler, Rajon Rondo