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James Harden out with hand strain amid Nets trade rumors

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·2 min read
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Days after appearing in a fresh round of trade speculation, James Harden is on the Brooklyn Nets' injury report as well.

The Nets star missed Saturday's game against the Golden State Warriors due to a hand strain, head coach Steve Nash told reporters before the game. Harden also missed Wednesday's game with a hamstring issue.

Per ESPN, Nash said an MRI revealed the strain on Saturday after his right hand had been bothering him for several days:

"James' hand has been bothering him for a few days," Nash said before the game. "But he thought it was nothing. And then it really flared up this morning when he woke up. Obviously he irritated what he was feeling [Friday] and then this morning he woke up with some irritation so we had a scan. I think what we're calling it is a hand strain from the doctor. Just unfortunate."

With Harden out and Kevin Durant still recovering from an MCL sprain, the Nets were left with Kyrie Irving as the only active member of their big 3 on Saturday. The trio have only played two games together this season.

Harden is currently averaging 23.0 points, 10.1 assists and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 42 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from deep.

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) during NBA action Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday Jan. 25, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
James Harden was out Saturday with a hand strain. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Will James Harden be traded?

Harden's latest injury also comes at a curious time, as it was reported earlier this week that Harden is interested in exploring opportunities outside of Brooklyn this offseason after growing frustrated with, among other things, Nash's decision-making, Irving's status as a part-time player and his comfort in the city.

Nash denied have any such conflicts with Harden after the rumors emerged, but there was enough smoke that multiple executives on other teams are considering a request for an NBA investigation should the Nets deal Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason. The Sixers, led by Harden's former general manager in Daryl Morey and co-owned by his friend Michael Rubin, are seen as a natural landing spot for Harden, especially considering the status of their own disgruntled star Ben Simmons.