Coming into his fourth NBA campaign, Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic is already in the running to grab his first-ever MVP crown in the coming 21-22 season. In an early forecast from ESPN with just over a month left before the new season tips off, experts are saying that Doncic ranks third in the MVP race next to two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and leading candidate as well as former MVP Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets.

Joining Doncic at the top of the list are last season’s MVP runner-up in Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers as well as former MVP and Durant’s new teammate in James Harden who rounds out the top five. Noticeably, Dallas’ franchise player is the only candidate from the Western Conference in the top five with the likes of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry find themselves at the seventh and sixth spot, respectively.

Doncic being considered as the league’s cream of the crop isn’t new, especially to Mavs fans. The young Slovenian has put himself in MVP talks ever since he entered the league and it seems that it’s only a matter of time before he finally adds that three-letter syllable to his growing list of accolades.

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

More importantly, though, Doncic’s main goal this season is to help his team go over the hump and improve on their disappointing exits in the postseason. With the Mavs young core staying intact, look for Doncic to put up MVP-like numbers once again as he tries to will his franchise to another playoff run.