NBA Trade Rumors: James Harden indicated to the Houston Rockets before the beginning of training camp that he would be open to a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers or possibly other contenders, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. He has added Blazers and Celtics to his preferred destination.
With no deal in sight, Harden has expanded his list of teams as a way to help “facilitate his request” pic.twitter.com/Z0a0FIS1nO
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 24, 2020
Although the newly promoted Houston Rockets’ general manager, Rafael Stone claimed that they are not afraid of the situation getting uncomfortable with him. With the preseason starting the 11th of December, the situation can be awkward in the Rockets’ locker room.
Sources: James Harden now has the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat among his preferred trade destinations, along with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 10, 2020
Harden, the perennial MVP candidate who is holding out of training camp, previously requested to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets to form a super team with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
NBA Trade Rumors: After it was clear there was no traction in talks with the Nets, Harden expressed to the Rockets that he would be agreeable if a trade with the 76ers materialized.
Teams would be reluctant to give up the assets required to get a player of Harden’s caliber without confidence that he would be willing to remain long-term. Few contenders have ability to furnish Houston with the combination of assets that it’s seeking to consider dealing Harden. https://t.co/VQlSZCrUAa
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 8, 2020
There have been no talks between the Rockets and the Sixers. New Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, the Rockets’ general manager for the previous 13 seasons, has said he has no intention to break up the Sixers’ All-Star duo of center Joel Embiid and guard/forward Ben Simmons.
Simmons, 24, a third-team All-NBA selection, is beginning the first season of a five-year, $169.5 million contract extension. Embiid, 26, a two-time second-team All-NBA selection, has $94.7 million over three seasons remaining on his deal.
Houston hasn’t wavered in what the Rockets consider a fair asking price for Harden: a package that includes a young franchise cornerstone and a bundle of first-round picks and/or talented players on rookie contracts, sources said.
The Rockets have been resolute that they will not be rushed into trading Harden, regardless of how uncomfortable the situation has become with the three-time scoring champion failing to report to training camp while partying in Atlanta and Las Vegas.
“Harden doesn’t get to say where he’s traded and basically force the Rockets to take a package that is 60 cents on the dollar for a perennial MVP candidate. I think what the Rockets are doing right now is they’re prepping for the post-Harden rebuild,” said Tim MacMohan.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon stated that he has discovered a change in the Rockets’ attitude toward James Harden. They have realized that the situation with their superstar guard is broken.
MacMahon added that “this thing has accelerated a lot faster than I anticipated.”
Harden has been the league’s leading scorer for the past three years. He now wants out to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
Where could we see James Harden next season?
According to what appears to be mostly speculation, a Nets package would be centered on a combination of LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince as well as picks. The Nets have all their own firsts going forward.
Philadelphia 76ers does as well and like the Nets has multiple seconds but Simmons, of course, is a bigger star than any of the available Nets players so might not require as many draft picks.
Another potential suitor, the Celtics, have young players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown but no longer have any additional picks, first or second round, going forward.