Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden is one of the superstars who are expected to change teams in the 2020 offseason. Though the Rockets have expressed their desire to run it back again next season, Harden believes that his championship window in Houston has already come to an end and that it would be best for him to start a new journey somewhere else. One of the most interesting landing spots for Harden this fall is the Golden State Warriors.
According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Warriors may consider offering Kevon Looney, Eric Paschall, Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, their 2021, 2024, and 2026 first-round picks, and the rights to swap first-rounders in 2022 and 2025 to the Rockets in exchange for Harden and PJ Tucker. If the deal becomes a reality, Favale believes that it would help both teams in filling their roster needs.
“This package holds more water if the Rockets warm up to a gradual rebuild. Almost no other team can guarantee two top-end firsts—Wiseman and the 2021 Minnesota pick—with the potential to get more. And landing Eric Paschall isn’t akin to getting an afterthought. Houston can futz with the framework of this deal to remove Tucker or try extending Golden State’s pick obligations out another draft or two. The Warriors shouldn’t be entirely opposed if they think Harden assures them another three or more years of title contention (he has a player option for 2022-23).”
Trading all those precious assets would arguably be a tough decision for the Warriors, but it’s the type of move that they could make if they are serious about reclaiming their throne and reviving their dynasty next season. With Klay Thompson expected to miss the 2020-21 season with an Achilles injury, Golden State is currently in dire need of another superstar that would help Stephen Curry and Draymond Green carry the team.
Though Favale described Harden’s fit in Golden State as “dubious,” “The Beard” could still be an incredible addition to the Warriors this fall. His potential acquisition could enable the Warriors to immediately fill Thompson’s absence on the offensive end of the floor. He could be a very reliable scorer, playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter.
Last 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. Harden may not be as good as Thompson on the defensive end, but he has proven on multiple occasions that he’s capable of efficiently guarding the perimeter. If the trio of Harden, Curry, and Green can build good chemistry and the Warriors can manage to find a starting-caliber center this offseason, it would likely give them a better chance of dominating the Western Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year.