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NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Early contenders to acquire James Harden as per sources

James Harden
James Harden
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST
Modified 13 Nov 2020, 01:06 IST
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The 2018 NBA MVP and Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has unexpectedly become the center of this week's NBA Trade Rumors. The Rockets are still reeling from the departures of Head Coach Mike D'Antoni and General Manager Daryl Morey, but it appears more changes could be on the way. The Rockets' superstar duo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden has expressed concerns over the franchise's direction, according to sources at ESPN.

NBA Trade Rumors: The duo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden might be exiting Houston

The Houston Rockets acquisition of Russel Westbrook from the OKC Thunder last year was expected to result in a push for the NBA title. However, the team crashed out of the 2020 NBA Playoffs in the second round, throwing the duo's future with the franchise into jeopardy.

James Harden is arguably the best offensive player in the NBA, and it would take a massive package to trade for The Beard. We examine NBA Trade Rumors' five potential destinations for the 2018 MVP.

NBA Trade Rumors: James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets for a potential "Big 3"

Brooklyn Nets All-Stars: Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets All-Stars: Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant

James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets is a terrifying proposition. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are bonafide superstars, and the addition of James Harden to the roster makes them overwhelming favorites for next year's NBA title. The Rockets' former Head Coach Mike D'Antoni has taken on an assistant coaching job with the Brooklyn Nets and could reunite with Harden if the deal does go through.

A backcourt duo of James Harden and Kyrie Irving with Kevin Durant as the forward would feature three of the best scorers in the NBA. All three players have significant playoff experience, and the potential "Big 3" could finally lead the Nets to their first-ever NBA title.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Miami Heat on James Harden's preferred list of teams

Miami Heat
Miami Heat

After a brilliant 2019-20 campaign, the Miami Heat are a favored destination for numerous free agents, according to NBA Trade Rumors. An ESPN report claims that the Heat is high up on James Harden's list of preferred trade destinations.

The Miami Heat exceeded expectations last season and will look to go all the way next year. The addition of James Harden to the Heat's young roster would transform them from contenders to clear-cut favorites to emerge from the Eastern Conference.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Philadelphia 76ers in pursuit of James Harden after the recent appointment of Daryl Morey

Daryl Morey and James Harden
Daryl Morey and James Harden

The majority of NBA Trade Rumors around James Harden point towards the Philadelphia 76ers. The Rockets' former GM, Daryl Morey, is the 76ers new President of Basketball Operations. Philadelphia also has the potential to offer a package built around Ben Simmons, and the Rockets would be hard-pressed to find a better deal. Harden could space the floor and give 76ers star Joel Embiid more room to operate.

After resigning from the Rockets, Daryl Morey took out a full-page advertisement in the Houston Chronicle to thank the organization for 13 great years and said, among other things,

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"An entire page could be dedicated just to James. He not only transformed my life but also revolutionized the game of basketball...James Harden changed my life"

There is enormous mutual respect and admiration between Morey and Harden, which makes the Harden to Philadelphia NBA Trade Rumors extremely realistic.

NBA Trade Rumors: Denver Nuggets listed as a possible destination for James Harden

Nuggets stars: Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray
Nuggets stars: Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray

The Denver Nuggets duo of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic announced their arrival on the biggest stage with a sensational run in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The Nuggets recorded back-to-back comebacks, recovering from a 3-1 deficit in successive series.

The fairytale run ended against the title favorites, LA Lakers, in the Western Conference Finals, which exposed some of the holes in the Nuggets offense. Nonetheless, the Denver Nuggets is arguably the most promising franchise in the NBA at the moment. Jokic and Murray are entering their prime and adding James Harden to an already solid roster would elevate the Nuggets to title-favorites.

NBA Trade Rumors: Will James Harden go to the illustrious Boston Celtics?

Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors
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The Boston Celtics' 2019-20 NBA season ended in the Eastern Conference Finals with a hard-fought loss to the Miami Heat. However, the Celtics roster is young and time is on their side. Superstars tend to avoid joining rebuilding teams, and the Celtics are perfectly poised to compete immediately, which makes them an appealing destination.

One of the best scorers in the league, James Harden would fit perfectly into the Boston Celtics' small-ball positionless style of play. Harden operates as a point guard despite being listed as a shooting guard and would complement Kemba Walker, Jason Taytum, and Jaylen Brown.

Published 13 Nov 2020, 01:06 IST
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