Report: James Harden adds 76ers, other teams to desired trade list

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Ben DuBose
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

All-Star guard James Harden recently indicated to the Houston Rockets that he would be open to a trade to either the Philadelphia 76ers or other perceived NBA title contenders, according to a new ESPN report.

This represents a change from Harden’s initial focus in recent weeks of solely seeking a trade to the Brooklyn Nets.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon, the Sixers and Rockets have yet to have any substantive talks about a potential deal. While former Rockets GM Daryl Morey now leads the basketball operations department in Philadelphia, he’s said thus far that he wants to keep the All-Star duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid together.

If that’s the case, it would seem to be difficult for the 76ers to meet Houston’s asking price, according to ESPN.

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.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

It’s worth noting that Morey could certainly change his evaluation at a later date. Regardless, Harden expanding his list of satisfactory trade destinations should come as a welcome development to the Rockets.

For Houston to receive the assets that it desires, the team receiving Harden would likely want to feel secure that “The Beard” wants to play there and is open to staying beyond his current contract. At the moment, Harden can become a free agent after the NBA’s 2021-22 season.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

That dynamic was problematic when Harden’s sole focus was Brooklyn, since the Nets don’t appear to have the high-level assets (assuming Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are unavailable) to make a deal worthwhile. But the presence of other teams in trade talks could change the dynamic, and it might also create a “bidding war” phenomenon in which the presence of other suitors forces each team to offer more aggressively.

With Harden under contract for at least two more seasons, the Rockets are under no pressure to move quickly. They’ve expressed an openness to keeping Harden to start the upcoming 2020-21 campaign, and perhaps into the 2021 offseason, depending on how the season goes in Houston and what the offers are around the league.

At some point, a trade seems likely — assuming Harden doesn’t budge from his desire to leave Houston. If that’s the case, having more teams in the bidding should boost the odds of Rockets GM Rafael Stone eventually getting what he needs to justify trading a perennial MVP finalist.

Related

Stephen Silas has 'no timetable' for James Harden reporting to Rockets

James Harden's mother appears to confirm his Houston trade request

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.