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NBA Trade Rumors: Houston Rockets not interested in James Harden-Ben Simmons swap with Philadelphia 76ers, could target Nerlens Noel

James Harden
James Harden
Raunak J
Modified 30 Oct 2020, 00:05 IST

The Philadelphia 76ers need strategic roster improvements. The arrival of Daryl Morey as president of basketball operations only signals their intent to get moves done. Given Morey's interest in skill-based players, the Sixers have once again been linked with James Harden by NBA trade rumors. As things stand though, the Houston Rockets are simply not interested in trading their best player.

NBA Trade Rumors: Houston Rockets not willing to send James Harden to Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons

If the Philadelphia 76ers pursue James Harden, they're most likely to offer Ben Simmons as the main asset to the Houston Rockets in exchange. Speaking on an episode of Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Podcast, ESPN's Tim MacMahon mentioned that the Rockets aren't interested in such a move. MacMahon explained:

"I've already been told with a few expletives included by somebody with the Rockets that 'No Daryl, Ben Simmons for James Harden is not happening, don't ask.'"

Daryl Morey's track record as an NBA executive so far suggests that he'll be looking to add shooters to the Philadelphia 76ers' roster. However, he's unlikely to get his hands on James Harden and will have to look elsewhere.

Houston Rockets could sign Nerlens Noel in free agency

Nerlens Noel
Nerlens Noel

One particular need that the Houston Rockets need to address this offseason is size underneath the basket. They're likely to target a conventional center after signing Stephen Silas as the head coach.

Tim MacMahon mentioned on the same podcast that Nerlens Noel could be a target in free agency:

"They tried to back-fill before the trade deadline. Nerlens Noel was a target, he's a free agent. He would be in the right price range."

Nerlens Noel started his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2014 before joining the Dallas Mavericks. He's redeemed himself with OKC Thunder and averaged 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds in only 18.5 minutes per game last season. He's a great rim protector who's very switchable on defense.

Noel's gone somewhat under the radar and that would allow the Houston Rockets to acquire him at a bargain without much competition. Adding him would let the Rockets use the pick-and-roll option once again.

Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: 3 crucial decisions the Philadelphia 76ers have to make this off-season

Published 29 Oct 2020, 23:59 IST
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