With the offseason ending and NBA training camp set to begin in the coming weeks, Dallas Mavericks’ free agent center Christian Wood still is unsure where he will play basketball in 2024.
Wood played valuable minutes for the Mavericks last season, averaging 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He also shot an efficient 37.6% from beyond the arc. But the Mavericks do not seem interested in bringing back their former center. After they re-signed frontcourt enforcers, Dwight Powell and Markieff Morris, there has been little traction on Wood returning to the Mavericks.
A recent trade proposal from Fadeaway World suggests the Mavs re-sign Wood only to put him back on the trading block, send him to the Chicago Bulls, and receive James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers in a potential three-team blockbuster.
Full trade details:
Dallas Mavericks Receive: James Harden
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: DeMar DeRozan, 2025 Second-Round Pick (TOR via DAL), 2028 Second-Round Pick (MIA via DAL)
Chicago Bulls Receive: Christian Wood (Sign-And-Trade), Tim Hardaway Jr., 2027 First-Round Pick (DAL).
Is James Harden Worth the Risk for Mavs?
But as the old saying goes, everything that glitters is not gold. And although Harden is one of the more provocative names that could be available for trade soon, it is not guaranteed that Harden in Dallas would be a home run.
Harden has played on his fair share of talented teams. In Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, In Houston with Dwight Howard and Chris Paul (on separate occasions), In Brooklyn with Durant (again) and Kyrie Irving, and most recently with Joel Embiid in Philadelphia. Yet the former NBA Most Valuable Player has just one Finals appearance and has not reached the conference finals since 2018.
But despite all the questions surrounding whether Harden can be a contributor to a true title contender, Dalton Trigg of Sports Illustrated believes he would mesh well with Irving and Luka Doncic.
“If Harden made his way to Dallas, there would surely be questions about whether he’d be able to coexist with Doncic and Irving, but if healthy, that trio would be dangerous enough to make the Mavs true title contenders,” Trigg writes.
“When Harden played with Irving and Kevin Durant with the Brooklyn Nets, they sported a record of 13-3 when all of them were on the floor together. One would think similar results could be had with Doncic, Irving, and Harden in Dallas.”
James Harden Wants a ‘Competitive Roster’
Initially, there had been rumblings that if Harden left the Sixers this summer, he would return to the Rockets, where he won the lone MVP award of his career. But with “The Beard” seeking that elusive first NBA championship, Chris B. Haynes of Bleacher Report says that Harden is prioritizing winning over everything else at this point of his career.
“The Houston Rockets have long been a rumored destination, but sources say Harden will only entertain suitors that present a competitive roster and the basketball freedom for the star to be himself, sources say,” Haynes writes via Bleacher Report.
“At the moment, the Sixers are the only logical option, coming off a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference in the regular season.”