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Report: What Rockets want in return in a James Harden trade

James Harden. Rockets

As expected, the Houston Rockets‘ asking price for superstar shooting guard James Harden is very steep.

According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Houston wants a lot in return for Harden and doesn’t feel obligated to deliver the 2018 MVP to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Rockets are demanding an especially steep return for Harden, a perennial MVP candidate who has led the NBA in scoring the last three seasons: a proven, young star as a centerpiece along with a massive picks package, according to sources. Houston does not feel obligated to deliver Harden to the Brooklyn Nets, his preferred destination, sources said.

James Harden is looking to reunite with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant on the Nets. However, the Rockets are holding out hope that The Beard will change his mind on his trade request and continue his career in Houston.

The Rockets are dealing with Harden and Russell Westbrook’s trade request. It’s quite possible Clutch City could lose two former MVPs in the same offseason. That would put Houston on the wrong side of history, that’s for certain.

In 2019-20, Harden averaged 34.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. The Rockets lost to LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the 2020 playoffs in five games at Walt Disney World in the NBA bubble.

Houston fans are praying Game 5 of that Lakers series isn’t Harden’s last game as a Rocket. If it is, however, the team could be facing a massive rebuild.