NBA Rumors: James Harden Reportedly ‘As Vocal As Possible’ About Wanting Nets Trade
According to a recent report, Houston Rockets guard James Harden is insisting that he be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, just as previous rumors had suggested.
On Monday afternoon, Sports Illustrated’s Farbod Esnaashari tweeted that Harden has been “as vocal as possible” about wanting a move to the Nets and that his objective “remains the same” even as Houston appears to have the advantage in negotiations. The reporter also cited league sources, who supposedly told him that Rockets officials “weren’t pleased” that their top scorer’s trade request had leaked out to the media when it did.
The new update came a week after ESPN NBA insiders Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne, and Zach Lowe wrote that the Nets were “rising” as the most likely destination for Harden as he pondered whether to remain with the Rockets or not for the 2020-21 season. At that time, they noted that the 31-year-old was looking forward to teaming up with Brooklyn superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant — the latter of whom was one of Harden’s teammates during their time with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the early 2010s.
In addition, the ESPN writers reported that the Rockets had “privately made it clear” that they would expect a “monstrous” package of players, draft picks, and pick swaps if they move Harden elsewhere. Currently, the Nets have a number of “intriguing” youngsters on their roster, including guards Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie, who were among the team’s top contributors in 2019-20 as Durant and Irving dealt with injuries.
Commenting on the rumors, Bleacher Report wrote that the Rockets are looking forward to a “new era,” with head coach Stephen Silas and general manager Rafael Stone replacing Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey in those roles for the 2020-21 campaign. As of now, the organization doesn’t have much financial wiggle room in a potential Harden trade, considering it owes close to $130 million to its contracted players. But given the limited ceiling that Houston might have with a Harden/Russell Westbrook backcourt, the publication speculated that moving the three-time scoring champion might be what the franchise needs to “reboot” after multiple failed attempts to reach the NBA Finals.
Harden is not the only Rockets superstar who has been rumored to be wanting out of the team, as Westbrook has also been subject to multiple trade rumors this month. Both men have also been mentioned in a plethora of suggested trades, including a three-way deal that would have sent Harden to the Boston Celtics and Westbrook to the New York Knicks.