#NBArank 8: James Harden

For the sixth season in a row, ESPN.com is ranking the top players in the NBA. Who will be the best player this season?

To get the final ranking, we asked our expert panel to vote on pairs of players.

LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry. Russell Westbrook vs. Kevin Durant. Damian Lillard vs. Chris Paul.

We asked, "Which player will be better in 2016-17?" To decide, voters had to consider both the quality and the quantity of each player's contributions to his team's ability to win games.

We'll roll out the rest of our top 200 players over the next two days. If you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along, #NBArank is the Twitter hashtag to use. You also can follow along @ESPNNBA and on Facebook.

On to the list ...

8. James Harden

Insider profile: Over the past two seasons, Harden has effectively served as the Rockets' point guard, handling the ball more than any non-point guard (6.3 minutes per game last season, per SportVU tracking on NBA.com/Stats). So Houston has decided to embrace that. While Harden will certainly play with a nominal point guard at times, the addition of Eric Gordon means regular minutes as the only true ball handler on the court. Read more »

#NBArank 6-10