James Harden has backed his Philadelphia 76ers teammate Joel Embiid to be named as the NBA's MVP.

Embiid has been one of the top performers in the league this season, and his points per game average of 29.8 is second only to LeBron James (30.0), also averaging 11.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

Harden – who moved to the Sixers in a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets in February – has been impressed with Embiid since arriving in Philadelphia.

When asked about the Cameroonian's MVP prospects, Harden told ESPN: "He deserves it, man. I've only been here for a few weeks, but I already see his mindset. He wants to win.

"Some guys just want numbers, but he has both. He has the mentality of winning, and he scores the ball at a high level. I think he's prepared himself, especially coming off last year, for this year to be one of his best years.

"Most of the games he's played this year, we've been fighting for the number one seed.

"And he's not only top two, top three in scoring, but he's impactful to our team winning."

Harden is averaging 22.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 10.2 assists across the season, and has won nine of his 12 appearances for the Sixers so far.

Embiid and Harden recorded 54 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists between them in Wednesday's 126-121 win at the Los Angeles Lakers.