Report: James Harden adds Bucks, Heat to trade list already featuring Nets, Sixers
Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has added the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat to a trade wishlist that already features the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
It was recently reported that the Sixers had joined Harden’s list and other contenders could be in play as well, and now the Bucks and Heat have been named as two of those other possibilities.
James Harden finally reported to Houston earlier this week after partying in Atlanta and Las Vegas for Lil Baby’s birthday. The Rockets star is currently going through COVID-19 protocols before being allowed to practice with the team. He must register six negative tests before he can practice with his teammates.
While Harden has reportedly been “non-communicative” with Houston’s front office at times, he has been in touch with Rockets assistant coach John Lucas. The superstar is expected to remain professional throughout this time and go through a workout for team personnel soon.
Houston just traded Russell Westbrook for John Wall with the hope this would appease Harden. Big men DeMarcus Cousins and Christian Wood were acquired in free agency to bolster the frontcourt. The Rockets are in no rush to trade Harden and are hoping a strong start to the season could change his thinking that the franchise isn’t in position to win a championship.
In terms of James Harden’s preferred trade list, Houston reportedly has little interest in a Nets deal unless it includes Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, which isn’t happening. Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid would be the targets on the Sixers, but Philly apparently wants to see that duo get another chance with a new-look roster.
As for the new teams on the list, the Bucks could offer a package centered around Khris Middleton. The Heat have a young star in Bam Adebayo and an up-and-comer in Tyler Herro, but Adebayo might be off the table in a deal for Harden after he recently signed a max extension. Jimmy Butler almost certainly isn’t going anywhere.
James Harden still has two years plus a player option left on his contract, so the Rockets are right to play the long game here. They shouldn’t rush into any deal as more suitors potentially come to the table with better offers.