A lot has been in the news recently since Kevin Durant said he would take Dwayne Wade out of the NBA’s Top 10 player in favor of his old teammate James Harden. Personally, I believe Kevin Durant is absolutely right as last season Dwayne Wade was not as great relative to years past. In the playoffs last season he was virtually another role player on the Miami Heat. He did play well when it counted most such as late in both the Eastern Conference finals and the NBA championship, but overall he was not an elite player last year. Last season Dwayne Wade averaged 21.2 ppg, but he started to diminish in April only averaging 18ppg. In the playoffs he was nothing more than a decent role player only averaging 15 ppg and if you watched the all of the Heat’s playoff games it seemed less than that as he had little impact. Although he was a bit banged up at the end of the season he did not play up to his standards and in being healthy this year he will have a chance to prove many people (including Durant) that he can still play at an elite level. Those saying if he was not injured he would be a top 10, but that is just it he was not a top 10 caliber player. That is also why I would not include Derrick Rose on the list even though I think he will play his way to the top 10 this season coming up.
To make the case for James Harden to be a top 10 player there are a plethora of areas I believe he is better than Dwayne Wade. First off he was a lot more active throughout the game and at this point in Wade’s career I think most can agree Harden is more athletic. Harden is averaging 5 more ppg than Wade at 25.9, and along with this he is averaging more steals and assists while shooting better from the free throw line and the three. He also finished better than Wade and although he did not go far in the playoffs mostly due to the fact that his team was not great he averaged 25.8 ppg in April and 26.2 points in the first round of the playoffs. It also should be noted that he did this mostly on his own as he carried the Houston Rockets to the playoffs with very little help. Harden could not have an off night or else the Rockets would lose for sure. Wade on the other hand did not have another that pressure on him and could come and go as he pleased knowing that Lebron James would shoulder the load and win consistently anyway. Both Dwayne Wade and James Harden are great players but the bottom line is that Kevin Durant is right Harden is a better player than Wade and more deserving of being in the top 10.