Despite reportedly telling the organization he plans to stick it out in the long haul, Houston Rockets superstar shooting guard James Harden could be on the move—and perhaps becoming the final piece of a “Big 3” in Brooklyn.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the former NBA MVP and three-time scoring champion is interested in joining the Brooklyn Nets and teaming up with All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Sources: The Rockets continue to tell teams that they plan “run it back” with Harden this season. So far, there have been no trade discussions between the Rockets and Nets. https://t.co/wHrTqvCPew
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 15, 2020
Harden, of course, started his career on the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside Durant before the two parted ways, with the guard traded to Houston and KD eventually winning his long-coveted title with the Golden State Warriors.
The Harden-to-the-Nets rumors first perked up earlier on Sunday when Farbod Esnaashari of SI.com mentioned a specific framework of a deal between Brooklyn and Houston revolving around the Beard.
The Nets could realistically form a Big 3 in the New York City borough with Durant and Irving seven-plus years after the infamous Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce deal ushered in an era of slipping into a long-term rebuilding project, requiring front-office revamping and years to form another talented team; with the KD and Irving free-agent heist last summer, adding Harden via trade would represent the pièce de résistance of Nets GM Sean Marks’ masterful rebuild.
Meanwhile, the Rockets are looking to trade Harden’s teammate Westbrook, who has been linked to the Nets’ cross-town rival New York Knicks along with the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers emerging as suitors.
While Harden appeared set on staying in Houston just a week ago in spite of the Rockets’ turmoil and offseason reconstruction, it appears now that the Beard’s next chapter in his wonderful career is taking shape with a Big 3 formation out East.
Harden averaged 34.3 points—his third consecutive league-leading scoring effort—6.6 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game in 68 regular-season appearances this past year. The Rockets were eliminated in five games against the would-be champion Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the playoffs.