NBA Rumors: Rockets Demanding An All-Star, Young Prospects & Future First-Round Picks For James Harden

After eight years of being the face of the franchise, rumors have started to circulate that All-Star shooting guard James Harden wants out of the Houston Rockets. With their inability to fully dominate the Western Conference and capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy, there is speculation that “The Beard” is considering following in the footsteps of other superstars who left their teams to chase their first NBA championship title somewhere else. As of now, the Rockets are well aware of Harden’s desire to leave.

However, Houston doesn’t plan to move Harden just for the sake of granting his request to move to another team. To convince them to engage in a blockbuster deal, potential suitors would likely have to pay a steep price. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Rockets are demanding a package that includes an All-Star, young prospects, and future first-round picks in the potential trade involving Harden.

“As for the prospects of him being traded, sources say the Rockets’ demands remain unchanged even after these past few days: An All-Star/All-NBA level player in return, as well as a treasure trove of other assets (young prospects, first-round draft picks, etc.),” Amick wrote, as quoted by Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report. “But as of Monday afternoon, sources say, the trade market wasn’t responding to these demands in the kind of way that would inspire a move.”

In recent months, several title contenders have already expressed a strong interest in acquiring Harden from Houston. These include the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, and the Philadelphia 76ers. All of them possess precious assets that they could use as trade chips for “The Beard.” However, based on Amick’s report, it seems like none of them are willing to give all the assets that the Rockets are demanding for Harden.

It’s hardly a surprise why the Rockets’ asking price for Harden is high. He may not have helped them end their title drought, but he’s currently one of the best active players in the league. Also, they are in no rush to move Harden since he’s under contract until the 2022-23 NBA season.

As of now, the Rockets are still doing everything they can to change Harden’s mind about leaving the team. They bolstered their frontcourt by signing DeMarcus Cousins and Christian Wood in the 2020 free agency. They also traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a 2023 first-round pick. Wall may be coming off an Achilles injury, but once he returns to 100 percent health and his All-Star form, the Rockets believe that he would be an incredible fit alongside Harden in their backcourt.

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