In the James Harden era, the Houston Rockets have done their best to compete with the top teams in the Western Conference but have fallen short of breaking through for an NBA Finals appearance.
After the Rockets’ latest shortcomings in the playoffs, there has been no shortage of speculation and talk thrown around about what Houston should look to do next. That has only intensified after former head coach Mike D’Antoni announced he won’t be returning.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, an Eastern Conference executive expressed his belief that moving James Harden ‘should be on the table’ for the Rockets.
“Everything should be on the table, including moving Harden,” said the second Eastern Conference executive.
Trading away an MVP candidate like Harden that can lead a team in the Western Conference to a playoff appearance each season seems like it defeats the purpose of team building. The whole goal of making moves is to find a player at the level of Harden, not to hand them out.
The level of compensation the Rockets would receive for Harden in a trade would be substantial, of course. However, Houston would have to put a ton of stock into the reformed NBA lottery odds panning out in their favor or else it would be a massive miscalculation.
The risk does not appear to be worthwhile. If you can’t successfully build a contender with a perennial MVP candidate on the roster then there’s a bigger issue at hand. Trading away that type of talent wouldn’t end up solving the fundamental issues that led to the situation.
It’s difficult to say what the best course of action would be for the Rockets to take this offseason. Regardless, the goal should be to put pieces around James Harden, not to tear down the roster.
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