Although James Harden has started the season as the league's leading scorer, NBA Trade Rumors continue to suggest possible routes out of Houston for the former MVP.
The Rockets enter Week 3 with a record of 2-3, having heavily relied on Harden's points. His focus remains rooted on the Rockets who have re-tooled this season. However, it is likely that he won't be with the franchise for long and where his next destination is remains up for debate.
NBA Trade Rumors: Kyle Lowry could make way in James Harden deal
The situation in Houston is still considered to be unresolved. Though Harden has shown his MVP-caliber ability on the court, the fact that he had expressed his willingness to depart in the offseason has invited NBA Trade Rumors to continue. In the latest discussions on the shooting guard's future, Paul Pierce gave his opinion on where Harden should go.
On ESPN's The Jump, Pierce was asked to comment on whether the NBA trade rumor of Harden to the Toronto Raptors has any legitimacy and who would be involved as a trading piece for the Canadian franchise.
"It may be time to think about trading Kyle Lowry. He's an aging vet who can still bring some value to a veteran team. Siakam is their young star, he is who they have invested in, it's time to start building around him. Lowry is a guy who can help people right now, he can help a contending team."
The Raptors have one of the worst records in the NBA and sit just above the foot of the Eastern Conference. Combined with the fact that Harden is unhappy in Houston has led to a possible deal between the two franchises being discussed in NBA Trade Rumors.
James Harden would be a significant coup for the Raptors in a season that looks as though it will underwhelm after sustained success has kept expectations of the franchise high. Several of the Raptors' top talents have been underperforming and would benefit from a serial scorer coming in and providing some consistency.
Kyle Lowry has been a dedicated servant to the Raptors and was a vital piece in their championship run. In this scenario, however, he seems the obvious choice for Toronto to use in any deal. Lowry has also been linked to several other NBA trade rumors, and with him being in the final year of his contract, it seems as though his time in Toronto is coming to an end.
Having already traded away several other assets that were critical for that team such as Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Danny Green, Toronto may see Harden as the figurehead around which to rebuild. Alongside young stars Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, who the franchise have invested heavily in, Harden could be the All-Star frontman to lead the Raptors offense if this NBA trade rumor comes into fruition.