Sixers want to trade for James Harden. Trading The Beard a non-starter for Rockets
The Philadelphia 76ers are said to have a strong interest in acquiring eight-time All-Star James Harden by way of a trade with the Houston Rockets. This isn’t that surprising for the Sixers, but there is just one problem: the Rockets are not interested.
According to report from Shams Charania of Stadium, the Rockets are an “emphatic no” when it comes to a deal that would send Harden to the Sixers:
"I'm told Philadelphia is expected to be interested in and pursue James Harden"
— Stadium (@Stadium) November 3, 2020
The Sixers recently hired former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to serve as the team’s president. Though he’s known to have been active on the trade market in years past, it sounds like Houston is not interested in a deal for Harden — not yet, at least.
Harden is fresh off a fantastic season. The Beard turned in a whopping 34.3 points per game, which led the entire NBA by a healthy margin (Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal finished second with 30.5 points per outing). Harden also led the league in 3-pointers made, knocking down 4.4 per contest.
Harden and the Rockets finished the 2019-20 regular season with a 44-28 overall record, which earned the team a No. 4 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. After dispatching the Oklahoma City Thunder in a seven-game first round series, Houston fell to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in the second round, 4-1.
In addition to the Sixers, other teams will be interested in Harden’s services, as Charania notes in his report. However, even with a regime change in Houston, there doesn’t appear to be an appetite to trade the star just yet. This makes sense given he still has three seasons left on his current contract, with that third year a player option worth over $47 million.
Would the Rockets change their tune if one of the Sixers stars in Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons is officially put on the table? Perhaps, but nothing is imminent.