Nearly half of the NBA season is on the books already, meaning we can already go ahead and make our picks and predictions for what's to come during the most important stretch of the campaign.

The trade deadline is zooming in, so we're about to get a better glimpse of the teams that will just throw the towel or look to compete at the highest level. But at the end of the day, it'll be up to stars to step up and lead their teams to the top.

Thus far, three players have stood up from the rest of the pack. Among all the superstars that make a living in the NBA, these have been the guys to watch night in and night out. Check out the top 3 MVP candidates of the season

NBA News: Top 3 MVP Candidates Right Now

Honorable Mentions: LeBron James, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Durant

3. Nikola Jokic

Of all the players in this list, no one has had to do more heavy lifting than Nikola Jokic. With Jamal Murray yet to play this season and Michael Porter Jr. also missing a big chunk of the campaign, the Denver Nuggets have pretty much been a one-man show.

Jokic continues to showcase his skills as the most talented playmaking big man ever. More than that, he's made great strides as a rim protector and has become a more aggressive scorer as well. The Nuggets' record won't do him any favors, though.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo is zooming in at the top spot but for now, he remains second on the MVP ladder. His video-game-like numbers are ridiculous and he's once again leading the Milwaukee Bucks in nearly every major category.

Giannis' two-way abilities make him the most dominant player in the world right now. He can lock up one through five while also putting up 30+ a night, and he's vastly improved as a long-range shooter as well.

1. Stephen Curry

Even though he's gone through a bit of a slump lately, Stephen Curry is still locked in as the top candidate to win MVP honors this season. The Golden State Warriors are once again the best team in the NBA and he has a lot to do with that.

We've already seen what Steph is capable of any given night. Even when his shot isn't falling, he draws too much attention and opens up the offense in ways no other player has ever done. Should the season end now, he'd take home his 3rd MVP award.