Kevin Durant has been on a mission this year. He took all the criticism directed at him for his move to Golden State and used it as motivation to prove everyone wrong. Durant joined a contender, a record 73-win team, and the team that defeated him in the Western Conference finals after being up 3-1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, he joined the Warriors and has become their best player. His recent performances in the 2017 NBA finals have encouraged several pundits to name Durant the best player in the NBA. What will LeBron James think of this?

Durant is ready to be the best

These finals have further highlighted Kevin Durant's abilities. Durant is averaging 34 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and 1.3 steals on 56.1 percent shooting. In addition, he is shooting an astounding 52.4 percent from the perimeter. But his numbers are not what shine most.

Durant's tenacity and fearlessness during the crucial moments of a game have saved his team in more than one occasion. His defense around the rim has also surprised many. The four-time scoring champion has proven to be more than a scorer. Durant is a mighty competitor and a soon-to-be champion.

LeBron is still the best ... for the moment

However, it is premature to overthrow King James and appoint Durant as the new ruler.

The one reason why this changing of the guard cannot yet happen is because if LeBron and Durant exchanged uniforms, as scary as that sounds, the Warriors would be even better. On the other hand, the Cavaliers would be a bit worse. LeBron elevates the play of his teammates in Cleveland, and that is something that is not quite Durant's forte.

LeBron would fit in perfectly with a system that allows ball movement to shine and perimeter shooting to succeed. In other words, the Warriors would be even more unstoppable. Durant is not the great physical specimen that is LeBron; thus, he can never become an elite defender in the league. LeBron can still assiduously leave his mark on the defensive end.

LeBron's averages in this series so far are 32 points, 12.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game. James is averaging an impressive triple-double and is still down 0-3 in the finals. Statistics lie to us every day, and more in the NBA. The high-paced basketball we are witnessing in these finals has naturally inflated the individual numbers of several players.

The Warriors are not a great rebounding team, nor do they have a rim protector. Thus, this has helped LeBron drive to the rim and rebound at will. His playmaking will always be there. Overall, truth is that LeBron cannot do much more in these finals. If he were able to take over games down the stretch, then we would be having a different debate right now.

James is averaging a poor 3.7 points on 36 percent shooting per fourth quarter in these NBA finals. That is the time when the team needs its star the most and when the immortals separate themselves from the rest of the mortal basketball players.

Durant will have his chance next season. If he can carry this confidence and aggressiveness into next season and dominate with ease, like he's doing in these NBA finals, then it will be time to circle back to this debate and probably pick Durant as NBA's new best player.