The Houston Rockets remain in a position where NBA superstar James Harden wants to be traded from the team. However, the complication has been that potential trade suitors like the Philadelphia 76ers remain unwilling to part with the necessary compensation in a deal to get something done— mostly Ben Simmons.
According to NBA insider Yaron Weitzman, the Rockets have asked for not only just Ben Simmons in trade talks for Harden, but also three first round picks in addition. Philadelphia remains ‘unwilling’ to part with Simmons in any potential trade.
When dealing away a superstar player like Harden, it’s understandable to expect a massive haul. It becomes a more complicated situation when there are self-inflicted parameters from the organization when sorting through the options, as in the case of the Rockets.
Not being willing to move Harden to a Western Conference contender eliminates a lot of potential options. Now, factor in that some top-flight teams in the Eastern Conference haven’t expressed interest in a potential deal, including the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors.
There isn’t much point in swinging for the fences to execute a trade for Harden for teams that don’t have the necessary situation to win-it-all by adding him. There is a real risk of losing him for nothing when his contract is done and that outcome puts just about any team in a debilitating position.
As it currently stands, the Houston Rockets may need to operate with patience as they have already done. Waiting for a team like the 76ers to feel as though pulling off a trade for James Harden could net them an NBA championship could be a motivating factor for a potential suitor.
There is little reason for the Houston Rockets to budge in favor of the Philadelphia 76ers in trade talks in a short-sighted deal. Ben Simmons needs to be a starting point for a trade package. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be much to build around long-term from dealing a superstar.