The NBA off-season is officially underway. Earlier reports emerged about Houston Rockets’ star Russell Westbrook demanding a trade. The situation only worsened from there on as later reports emerged about James Harden not signing a $103 million extension for two years and requested a trade from the team.
The Rockets look to be in deep trouble as their cornerstone Harden is unsettled. But the Athletic’s Shams Charania said that the franchise was not under a lot of pressure.
Speaking to NBA TV, Charania said, “The Nets, I’m told there’s not much interest on Houston’s part in any type of deal with them, unless it includes Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant. As far as the Sixers are concerned, unless they’re putting in Ben Simmons — which I’m told they’re not inclined to do right now — I don’t see a deal structure that makes sense with Philly, outside of a guy like Ben Simmons. The Sixers and Nets are going to have to see if they can cobble a deal together, but I don’t think there’s tremendous pressure right now on Houston.”
— Alec Sturm (@alec_sturm) November 17, 2020
James Harden to the Nets: Is it still possible?
James Harden is one of the top scorers the NBA has seen in a long time. The 2017-18 MVP has been the scoring champions for three years in a row and has been pivotal in the deep playoff runs his team makes.
The Houston Rockets have the upper hand in trading an accomplished star, as they can ask interested parties to give much more.
The Brooklyn Nets are the preferred trade destination for Harden. The Nets are trying to add a third star to their big two of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. A trade package of Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarret Allen, and a couple of picks would be good enough to land any star.
The Houston Rockets seem very adamant about letting their star go for some future talents. Houston wants either Kyrie or Durant in exchange for Harden. Are the Nets willing to let go of their star, though? The chances look slim.
Without Harden, the Nets won’t be that bad. A Kyrie Irving and Durant partnership along with the young role players might make them one of the best teams in the league.
Considering how valuable Harden is for the Rockets, the team’s demands might be too much for anyone. Many teams would love to have him, but being unable to match Houston’s demands, these teams could back off. James Harden may end up staying in Houston after all.
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