NBA Rumors: Proposed Deal Would Send James Harden To Timberwolves For Package Featuring Russell & Edwards
Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden is currently one of the hottest names on the trade market. Despite the strong efforts from the Rockets to convince him to stay, Harden seems to be very determined to leave the Space City and start a new journey somewhere else. Though it remains unknown if the Minnesota Timberwolves are planning to join the pursuit of “The Beard” before the 2021 trade deadline, they are considered one of the under-the-radar landing spots for the former MVP.
In a recent article, Jake Rogers of NBA Analysis Network suggested a blockbuster trade that would enable the Timberwolves to pair the face of the franchise, Karl-Anthony Towns, with “The Beard” in the 2020-21 NBA season. In the proposed scenario, the Timberwolves would be sending a package that includes D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Ricky Rubio, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2024 first-round pick, and a 2026 first-round pick to the Rockets in exchange for Harden, PJ Tucker, Danuel House Jr., and Ben McLemore.
Though it would cost them three of their core players next season and multiple draft assets, the suggested blockbuster would make a lot of sense for the Timberwolves. Rogers believes that the successful acquisition of Harden would turn them from one of the worst teams in the league into an “NBA Finals contender.”
“Harden and Karl-Anthony Towns would immediately become one of the NBA’s most lethal duos. They could very well end up being a threat to the Los Angeles Lakers in the West. Not only that, they would likely feel good about their chances to convince both Harden and Towns to stick around long-term. With two superstars like Harden and Towns, the Timberwolves would be able to recruit other players to join them. Both players have connections around the league and free agents would view playing in Minnesota as a chance to win a ring.”
The potential arrival of Harden in Minnesota would significantly improve their offensive efficiency, which ranked No. 24 in the league, scoring 105.3 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. He would give them a prolific scorer, a decent playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter. Last season, he averaged 37.3 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.
Aside from Harden, the Timberwolves would also be acquiring two solid role players in Tucker and House Jr. Tucker could serve as Towns’ frontcourt partner next season, while House Jr. would provide them with more options in the wing.
Meanwhile, for the Rockets, this could be one of the best packages that they could receive for Harden. It would give them all the assets that they are looking for in any blockbuster deal involving the former MVP: an All-Star in Russell, a young prospect in Edwards, and multiple future first-round selections.