The Houston Rockets and James Harden both entered the 2020-21 season with the expectation they would need to split at some point. After the former NBA MVP’s comments calling the situation ‘unfixable’, a trade appears to be looming.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the Rockets intend to keep James Harden away from the team as they sort through potential trade scenario. The overall process to complete a trade for Harden is ‘moving quickly.’
As Wojnarowski also noted, the momentum towards a trade featuring Harden had increased in recent days for the Rockets. This was prior to Harden making his controversial remarks to the media after Houston’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The two NBA teams who are in the final mix to execute a trade for James Harden include both the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers— both of whom were on his original list of preferred trade destinations.
After a slow start to the 2020-21 season, the Nets have added motivation to make changes. Kevin Durant has shown he’s still one of the NBA’s elite players while Kyrie Irving has reached an all-time low in his off-court antics— outright not showing up to work.
Now, the Brooklyn Nets seem to be emboldened to include whatever necessary pieces it takes to complete a trade with the Houston Rockets for James Harden. The Philadelphia 76ers do have the potential to make an intriguing offer if they are willing to include Ben Simmons in a deal.
It’s difficult to envision the Brooklyn Nets not being able to tear through the rest of the Eastern Conference en route to an NBA Finals appearance with a duo consisting of Kevin Durant and James Harden. The supporting cast would be depleted in the aftermath of a deal and GM Sean Marks would need to get creative to remedy that.