Chris Paul: 2012-'13 NBA MVP
He finished third, behind only LeBron James and Kevin Durant in MVP voting a year ago. He led the Clippers to the second round of the postseason for only the second time in the last fifteen years. He led a young, inexperienced team through a very rough stretch of the season where before the Clippers would have collapsed in the past, without fail.
This season is a whole new ballgame. The Lakers landed Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and a solid supporting cast to surround Kobe and Pau Gasol. The Clippers also retooled, picking up Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford and Grant Hill. But the Clippers unquestioned leader is still CP3.
For a franchise that was down in the dumps year after year, the success they have had of late can only be attributed to the presence of Chris Paul. He's savvy, smart and sly - something the Clippers had never been fortunate enough to have until recently.
Paul's ability to create will allow for Blake Griffin's game to continue to develop - as playing alongside a talented point guard always expands your game. The definition of the MVP is the ability to make everyone around you better. And there isn't one person in the league who does that more than Chris Paul. He elevates the play of his team to a point that is unmatched in the league today.
LeBron James is the best player in the game - no question. But from the point guard position, the most important position on the court, Paul is unparalleled and he will lead his Clippers squad deeper into the postseason before taking him his personal hardware for MVP.