Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden is undoubtedly one of the best scorers in the league, but as of now, he’s yet to win his first NBA championship. Despite his explosive performances, the Rockets’ greatest achievement during his time with the team was reaching the Western Conference Finals.
If they can’t give Harden a better supporting cast in the 2020 offseason, the former MVP may consider following in the footsteps of other superstars and find a way out of Houston.
In a recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report created a list of trades to rescue the “NBA’s ringless stars.” For Harden, Buckley believes that he’s better off being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a package that includes Ben Simmons, Mike Scott, Zhaire Smith, and the No. 21 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Sixers have already said that they have no plan to break up their young superstar duo, but Buckley believes that they would change their mind about moving Simmons if a player of Harden’s caliber becomes available on the trading block.
“If the target is James Harden, then Simmons could be the odd man out since both players are best on the ball. Embiid, on the other hand, could be a snug half-court fit with Harden, and they could both go ring-chasing together. Harden is the NBA’s best scorer since Michael Jordan, and defenses would be put in the impossible position of choosing whether to sell out on stopping Harden or Embiid. It’s a pick-your-poison scenario, and that’s before even accounting for the scoring prowess of Harris, Josh Richardson and the rest of the supporting cast.”
Harden would undeniably be an incredible addition to the 76ers. His arrival in Philadelphia would tremendously improve their performance on the offensive end of the floor. Aside from being a prolific scorer, he is also a great playmaker, an elite three-point shooter, and a solid perimeter defender.
This season, he averaged 34.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.8 steals while shooting 44.4 percent from the field, and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
Being traded to a new team would require the shooting guard to make certain adjustments in his game. However, once Harden and Embiid find chemistry together, the 76ers could have a better matchup against other title contenders with superstar duos like Anthony Davis and LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets), Paul George and Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets), and Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat).