Harden, who led the league in scoring, has twice been a runner-up for the award, including previous year when Russell Westbrook won.
Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis is a finalist for the MVP award and the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Harden has been the MVP runner-up in two of the past three seasons, and many feel that his incredible season - leading the league in scoring (30.4 points per game) while finishing third in assists (8.8 per game) on a Rockets team that finished with a league-high 65 wins - will be enough to finally get him the hardware.
With 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game, James' numbers are especially impressive when one considers the circumstances the 2016 National Basketball Association champions have gone through this year with the trade of Kyrie Irving, injuries, a general manager change and the absence of head coach Tyronn Lue due to illness.
On Wednesday evening the National Basketball Association revealed their finalists for their annual slate of individual regular season awards.
James led the league in minutes played per game as he helped the inconsistent Cavaliers into 4th place in the Eastern Conference.
Davis was also a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, along with Gobert and Philadelphia center Joel Embiid.
The NBA released the list of nominees for its year-end awards, which will be given out on Monday, June 25 in the second annual televised awards show on TNT.