Why Dallas Mavericks should not worry about James Harden returning to Houston
The Beard is 33 years old, and his production has slipped since leaving Houston. Over the last three seasons, he has averaged 22.3 points, 10.5 assists, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 36.9 minutes per game. Harden has shot 43.6 percent from the field, 35.8 percent on his threes, and 87.0 percent from the foul line. Those are still superstar numbers, but a far cry from his three straight years leading the league in scoring during his days with the Rockets.
It is most noticeable when Harden attacks the basket. He made just 57.5 percent of his 207 field goal attempts within five feet this season, and the 6’5 guard connected on just over 52 percent in the 2021-2022 season. During his final year in Houston, Harden shot 61.8 percent on 471 attempts within five feet. He just does not have quite the same explosion to get to the rim.
Harden’s supporting cast would all be attempting to learn how to win. They will have another lottery pick to add to their young core of Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun, Tari Eason, and Kevin Porter Jr. in June. None of those players have playoff experience, so it could take some time even with The Beard in Houston for things to gel.
How worried should the Dallas Mavericks be about James Harden returning to the Houston Rockets?