James Harden’s Top 5 Trade Destinations. We breakdown what has been a wild, short offseason for the Houston Rockets and where the best fits are for James Harden.
5. Denver Nuggets
It is clear, Harden wants to be traded to an Eastern Conference team, which is why the Denver Nuggets are the only Western Conference Team here. But, the Nuggets have the best young assets in the league. They have a budding superstar in Michael Porter Jr. and they have Bol Bol, one of the most popular young players around the league. I don’t envision the Nuggets parting ways with their young core, but a trio of Jamal Murray, James Harden and Nikola Jokic would certainly be fun to watch.
4. Brooklyn Nets
As much as the Brooklyn Nets want to form a Super Team with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden, it just doesn’t seem realistic. The Nets would have to part ways with one of them to land Harden. The Nets just don’t have the assets to bring in the top ten player that Harden is. Caris LeVert is one of my favorite young players, but he’s not good enough to land Harden in a deal. The Harden-to-Nets is a pipe dream for Brooklyn Fans. We talked about this more in depth on our NBA Podcast here. He’s much more likely to go elsewhere in the Eastern Conference.
3. Miami Heat
The Miami Heat could have the best trade package to send to Houston if are willing to do it. It is going to be tough to acquire Harden without giving up Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. Adding Harden and subtracting Herro and Adebayo makes this team much worse in my eyes. I don’t see why the Heat would do this deal, but if they can get Harden without giving up Adebayo, then it’s a no brainer but I don’t see the Rockets doing that without the budding superstar, Adebayo.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks are in need of making a big move to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo. Bringing in Jrue Holiday was nice, but he’s not the talent that Harden is. With the max extension looming, Giannis has a big decision to make. By bringing in Harden, it makes that decision that much easier. He would finally get a co-star to run with. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are very good NBA players, but they can’t take over games like Harden can. A Harden-Antetokounmpo duo would be one of the most fun duos in the league to watch, and I am hoping they can pull it off.
1. Philadelphia 76ers
Last but not least, the 76ers. To this point, the 76ers have been reluctant to part ways with either of their young all stars, Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, and you can’t blame them. I see Philadelphia as the best place for Harden because of the fit. I don’t see a way to pull off this trade without giving up Simmons or Embiid. The 76ers don’t have the other assets to do so (very similar to the Nets being unwilling to give up either of their super stars).
So, let’s assume they had to trade Ben Simmons for James Harden. The 76ers could finally get Embiid a guard that can score. The 76ers have struggled through the Simmons/Embiid Era due to their inability to shoot, but that won’t be the case here. Harden is one of the best scorers in NBA history. He can fill it up. Reuniting Harden with Daryl Morey would be quite the experience, while also giving Ben Simmons a fresh start with much less pressure on him. Might be a win-win for everyone involved.
If I had to bet, James Harden will end up on the Miami Heat solely because Pat Riley seems like the most aggressive of all the GMs on this list, but that isn’t my favorite fit for Harden. He fits much better on the Milwaukee Bucks or Philadelphia 76ers. Time will tell. I am just excited for the NBA season to be back.