The 2020-21 NBA season witnessed an earth-shattering move as the reigning scoring champ, James Harden, was sent to the Brooklyn Nets via a four-team trade to create a super team the likes of which has become the envy of most teams in the association. To put things into perspective, Harden, the recipient of 3 back-to-back NBA scoring titles joins Kevin Durant, the winner of 4 NBA scoring titles.
Donning his new role as a facilitator, James Harden is making the ultimate sacrifice this season with the hopes of winning his first championship ring. The same title aspirations for the Nets could affect Durant's scoring averages as the team will share the love on the offensive end between KD, Kyrie, and Harden this campaign.
Top 5 candidates in the race for NBA scoring title for the 2020-21 NBA season
Harden's new role with the Nets has cleared the runway for a new candidate to win the honor of the NBA scoring champion this season. A chance to join the list of elite players, enshrined in NBA history, with the likes of Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and the late, the great, Kobe 'Bean' Bryant to name a few.
On that note, let's take a look 5 NBA players in the race for the NBA scoring title this season:
#1 Bradley Beal
Despite the Wizards' struggles this season, Bradley Beal has shone bright, continuing to keep pace with his 30 PPG average from the 2019-2020 season. Beal, who had only two All-Star selections coming into this season, has displayed his offensive repertoire to such an extent that he not only earned another All-Star appearance, but has received the honor of entering the 2021 NBA All-Star game as a starter in the East.
Bradley Beal joined the NBA in the 2012-13 season as a nineteen-year-old, maturing into one of the best two guards in the league over the years. He has taken a leap over the last three years, reaching the pinnacle of his career this season. His impressive display of scoring with finesse sent the NBA rumor mill into overdrive with almost every team getting linked with Beal one way or the other. No matter how the Wizards end this season, Beal remains the frontrunner in the race for the NBA scoring title.
Beal has averaged 32.8 points on 47.3% shooting from the field in twenty-four games.
#2 Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid is a true unicorn, entering this list as the only center in the NBA with the high scoring averages required for competing as a leading candidate for the NBA scoring title. Embiid is not only scoring the ball well but has been posting impressive numbers across the board that should include him in the MVP debate as well.
The big man from Cameroon will join another player on the list, Bradley Beal in the 2021 NBA All-Star game as a starter in the East. Embiid's talents and domination underneath the rim have seen him getting compared with one of the greatest centers in NBA history, Shaquille O'Neal. While Shaq will probably not approve of this comparison, the rest of us can see the same qualities that set them apart from the rest.
Embiid remains the 76ers best bet to take them back to the Eastern Conference Finals this campaign. Embiid will attempt to follow in the footsteps of another Sixers legend, Allen Iverson, who guided them to a trip to the NBA Finals in 2001 and is coincidentally the winner of 4 NBA scoring titles.
Embiid is averaging 30.5 points on a terrific 54.7% shooting from the field.