Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden became the subject of trade speculation after rumors that the Philadelphia 76ers wanted to acquire him spread throughout the league. The Rockets haven't made Harden available on the trading block, but if they surprisingly decide to move him, the Sixers aren't the only ones who are expected to express a strong interest him. The Brooklyn Nets are rumored to be another interested party. The Nets may have successfully acquired Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last summer, but they still aren't content with their current roster.
While star duos have become popular among title contenders, the Nets are aiming for something bigger. If Harden becomes available, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report believes that the Nets will do everything they can to bring him to Brooklyn and form their own Big Three with Durant and Irving for the 2020-21 NBA season. Having three ball-dominant superstars on their roster would definitely be a huge challenge for rookie head coach Steve Nash, but once they find the perfect chemistry, the Nets would undoubtedly become the top favorite to fully dominate the Eastern Conference and bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy next year.
Pairing Harden with Durant and Irving would make the Nets unstoppable on the offensive end of the floor. Also, unlike when he first entered the league, Harden is no longer a defensive liability and has grown into a decent perimeter defender. He won't have a hard time making himself comfortable in Brooklyn since he and KD once played together on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Also, once he's traded to the Nets, he would be reuniting with former Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni, who was recently hired as Nash's assistant.
Bringing a player of Harden's caliber to Brooklyn won't be cheap and would certainly require the Nets to pay a king's ransom. To convince the Rockets to engage in a blockbuster deal, Bailey suggested that the Nets could offer a package that includes Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Dzanan Musa, and three future first-round picks. The proposed package would give Houston the option to undergo a rebuilding process or remain competitive with Russell Westbrook as their main man.
If they decide to take a different route, LeVert, Dinwiddie, Allen, and Musa could form the core of the next title-contending team that the Rockets will try to build in the post-Harden era. Using one of the future first-rounders, they could easily find a team that will absorb Westbrook and his lucrative contract.