NBA rumors: ‘No chance’ this NBA Finals contender trades for James Harden

By Matt Johnson
Dec 17, 2020; Houston, TX, USA; James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets controls the ball during the second quarter of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center on December 17, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden is at the center of constant trade rumors heading into the 2020-’21 NBA season, with nearly every top team interested in acquiring the eight-time All-Star guard. While plenty of NBA Finals contenders have their eye on Harden, at least one isn’t interested whatsoever.

With trade talks around the former NBA MVP heating up and a blockbuster move drawing closer, it seems we can safely rule out at least one championship hopeful for James Harden.

Related: Top 50 NBA players heading into the 2020-’21 season.

NBA trade rumors: Dallas Mavericks not interested in James Harden trade

When James Harden requested a trade, teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors immediately emerged as potential landing spots. There’s no denying Harden would be a monumental on-court addition for any team he joins, but it seems not everyone wants him.

A league source told the New York Times’ Marc Stein that there is “no chance” the Mavericks trade for Harden and pushed back against any rumors speculating they had interest in him.

It’s not for lack of interest in acquiring a third star. Dallas showed interest in Zach LaVine this offseason, pursuing a deal for the star guard. Before Giannis Antetokounmpo signed an extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, the largest contract in NBA history, many speculated the Mavericks would heavily pursue Giannis next offseason.\

Dallas rightfully wants to bring another All-Star player into its core. While Luka Doncic will likely be competing for NBA MVP awards for the next decade-plus, Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t shown he can stay healthy. The star forward will miss the start of the 2020-’21 season due to a knee injury.

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With that said, pairing Doncic with James Harden is a bad idea. Houston catered to Harden’s every desire, creating an environment that served his needs and always did things his way. Whether that meant the team staying an extra day in a city or waiting for Harden to arrive for practice, he got what he wanted.

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It’s likely not the influence Mark Cuban wants around Doncic. Plus, pairing two players who rely on having the ball in their hands would make this even more difficult for the Mavericks.

Instead, the Mavericks will roll into the season with their current roster. After nailing the 2020 NBA Draft and landing 3-and-D specialist Josh Richardson, Dallas is in a great position to compete for the NBA Finals without James Harden.