Joining Harden, who led the league in scoring with 36.1 points per game, in the top three are Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Antetokounmpo, the only player out of the three whose team is still competing in the postseason, led the Bucks to a league-best 60 wins and ranked third in the league in scoring (27.7 PPG), sixth in rebounds (12.5) and 10th in blocked shots (1.5) per game.
George led the league in steals (2.2) while putting up career numbers in points (28.0), rebounds (8.2) and assists (4.1) per game.
Antetokounmpo and George also were announced as finalists for Defensive Player of the Year, joining last year's winner, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, in the top three.
The league announced the finalists for all six annual awards, based on voting results from a global panel of print and television media, before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Bucks andToronto Raptors.
Rounding out the rest of the awards finalists:
LA Clippersteammates Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell joining theIndiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis for Sixth Man
Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and his draft night trade partner, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, joining Phoenix Suns No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton for Rookie of the Year
TheDenver Nuggets' Michael Malone joining two former Coach of the Year winners in Mike Budenholzer of the Bucks and Doc Rivers of the Clippers
The Raptors' Pascal Siakam competing withDe'Aaron Foxof the Sacramento Kings andD'Angelo Russellof the Brooklyn Nets for Most Improved Player
The winners will be revealed at the league's annual awards show on June 24, hosted by Shaquille O'Neal in Los Angeles.
Giannis vs. Harden: Who is the MVP?
Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden are finalists for the NBA MVP award along with Paul George. Who takes homes the hardware?