The NBA is still the premier league for basketball fans. While the exciting action and huge global brands it delivers explains its popularity, the superstar players also help. In the past, this has been people such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Present-day NBA is also stacked with superstar names such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant lighting up the court.
Names like this have one thing in common – they are all winners and all have at least one NBA title under their belt. This is not always true for some of the best NBA players still around, though, and many are striving to enjoy a championship win.
Just because some of the top NBA talent still active has not yet won a title, there is no reason to believe it will never happen. A move in offseason to a better side, for example, may well do the trick or they may suddenly find their current side recruits better players. A good way to check who might finally taste title success in 2021/22 is to look at the latest NBA odds. This will show you which sides are fancied to win the Finals this year and which of the best players in the NBA never to have won a title could be affected. To get a head-start on this, click here for updated NBA odds.
In terms of the best active NBA players still waiting for a title though, which names stand out?
James Harden is perhaps the most surprising NBA star to not yet taste Finals victory. This is a shock because Harden is so amazing – to the point that plans for the Rockets to retire Harden’s No 13 shirt are well under way. The all-time best left-handed scorer in league history, his passing is a devastating offensive weapon and he is a dominant scorer.
Harden almost made it in 2012 when the Thunder lost to Miami but he has not been any closer since. Although a move to become the main player at Houston looked promising, the Rockets never made it any further than the Conference Finals in 2015. A 2021 move to the Brooklyn Nets could be the answer though, due to the amount of talent in their side now.
Another top active NBA talent who has yet to clinch a title is Russell Westbrook. Although he has scooped several accolades (such as NBA MVP in 2017), a Finals win has proved elusive to date. This is hard to fathom in some ways when you look at what he brings to the table.
At 200 pounds and 6 feet 3 inches, he has great physicality in the point guard position. He also plays with real intensity. This enables him to push the pace of games and attack the rim with force. Along with superb shooting and great athleticism, he has all a player needs to take a title home. A 2021 offseason move to the LA Lakers may well see him surrounded by the top-level talent he needs to succeed.
CP3 has been around the NBA since 2005 and has been a perennial All-Star in his long career. He has also come very close to taking a title home when the Phoenix Suns lost out to the Bucks in the 2020/21 Finals series. When you add in the multiple playoff appearances he has seen, it is a real surprise that he has never quite got over the line yet.
Most people around the NBA would love to see such a talented player clinch a championship. With great vision, superb passing, decent defense and true leadership skills, he is everything you would want in a point guard. With Chris Paul confirming his desire to make the NBA Finals again being seen in online news stories, it seems he is well motivated to clinch a title before he retires.
Best players in NBA don’t always win titles
Although most of the top players in the NBA do eventually win at least one title, this is not a given. You only have to look at those listed above and people such as Carmelo Anthony or Luka Doncic for proof of this. Raw talent is not enough for a title win – you need the right players around you, the right coach and somewhere you truly fit in. A bit of luck also helps! If the players discussed here can put all this together in the future, then they could see Finals glory heading their way.