The Golden State Warriors are rumored to be one of the teams that have expressed strong interest in acquiring All-Star shooting guard James Harden from the Houston Rockets. Before Klay Thompson suffered a season-ending injury, Shams Charania of The Athletic revealed in an episode of Complex's Load Management podcast that the Warriors called the Rockets about a potential deal involving "The Beard." The Warriors are indeed in a strong position to engage in a blockbuster trade with the Rockets.
They could use Andrew Wiggins' lucrative contract for salary-matching purposes, and they have James Wiseman and the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2021 first-round pick to sweeten the deal. However, some people believe that Harden may not be interested in joining forces with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green in the Bay Area. In a recent podcast, Bill Simmons of The Ringer talked about the rumors linking Harden to the Warriors and explained why "The Beard" would "veto" a trade to Golden State.
"Here's the problem if you're Harden — you're not winning the title if they do that, because Klay Thompson is out for the year," Simmons said, as quoted by Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area.
"So you're going to play with Steph Curry and Draymond Green and you're not gonna win the title. You're in the same spot you are now. So he'll veto that... with no Klay Thompson, he's not talking himself into that."
Most people would likely disagree with Simmons' assessment. Thompson is undeniably a huge loss for the Warriors but with a healthy Curry and Green, they would remain as a legitimate threat in the loaded Western Conference. Compared to Russell Westbrook and PJ Tucker, who were the Rockets' starting point guard and power forward/center, respectively, in the 2019-20 NBA season, Curry and Green are better.
Curry is an elite three-point shooter who is capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity, making him the ideal backcourt mate to a ball-dominant guard like Harden. Meanwhile, compared to Tucker, Green could go up against dominant centers in the league and have a higher basketball IQ and good on-court vision. As of now, Harden must be well-aware of how good the Warriors are. In the years that he tried to conquer the loaded Western Conference, Harden and the Rockets were defeated by the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs four times.
Also, it's worth noting that Harden doesn't have the power to veto any trade since he doesn't have a no-trade clause in his contract. Per Spotrac, "The Beard" only has a trade kicker in his contract that would enable him to receive a bonus from the Rockets if they move him to another team.