This year’s MVP race has been one for the ages, that’s for sure. With surprising teams owning the best record in each conference and some players stepping up their game, it seems like we’ll have a first-time winner this NBA season.

That means that LeBron James, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or Stephen Curry are most likely out of the picture, either because of injury or due to their team’s record.

That leaves just a handful of logical candidates that could actually be named as the league’s Most Valuable Player, with Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid and Denver Nuggets big Nikola Jokic leading the race.

Shaquille O’Neal Says Joel Embiid Should Be This Year’s MVP

“I’d give it to Joel Embiid right now. He’s playing the game like he’s supposed to be playing. He’s leading, rebounding, playing inside and he’s out there having fun. His PPG (Point Per Game) is more than the Joker’s. He’s a little bit better. He’ll be a 10 and the Joker will be a 9.9762541—they’re very very close. If you ask me for my opinion, I would go with Joel Embiid this year. They’re very very close,Shaq said on NBA on TNT.

Most people think that Jokic should win the award this season because of Embiid’s injuries, which is a valid statement. But if we take a look at the numbers, the Sixers’ big man is clearly one step ahead.

Thus far, Embiid is averaging 30.0 points with 11.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 three-pointers per game on 51/37/81 shooting splits, whereas Jokic averages 26.4 points, 11.0 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 three-pointers per game on 56/41/85.

The truth is that the voting could go either way right now and that both players are well-deserving of the distinction, so perhaps the league will even lean towards giving away co-MVPs as has happened in the All-Star Game and the Rookie of the Year voting.