Despite losing Klay Thompson to a season-ending injury, the Golden State Warriors refused to engage in a blockbuster deal in the 2020 offseason, believing they still had what it takes to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy. However, their performance in the first two games of the 2020-21 NBA season showed they are in dire need of another legitimate superstar alongside Stephen Curry in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the loaded Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title. One of the superstars they could target before the 2021 trade deadline is All-Star shooting guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets.
In a recent article, Nathan Beighle of Fansided’s Blue Man Hoop suggested three blockbuster trade ideas that would enable the Warriors to land Harden. The most intriguing scenario is one that involved the injured Thompson. In the proposed deal, Golden State would be sending a package that included Thompson, James Wiseman, and a 2023 first-round pick in exchange for Harden.
Trading for Harden would undeniably be a huge gamble for the Warriors, but it’s one move they could make to strengthen their chances of reclaiming their throne and reviving their dynasty this season.
“Harden and Curry, although Curry may be more of a pure shooter at that point and Harden more of a passer, may thrive with each other in the backcourt. The rest of the roster may fill out with Oubre Jr., Wiggins, and Draymond Green, all of which have a track record of success in the NBA. If the Warriors can trust that those three can round out a contending roster, it’s worth the risk.”
Harden may not be a defensive specialist like Thompson, but he is more than capable of filling the huge hole the shooting guard left on the offensive end of the floor. He would give the Warriors a very reliable scoring option next to Curry, as well as an incredible playmaker, rebounder, and three-point shooter. Last season, the 31-year-old shooting guard 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.
Meanwhile, if the suggested deal would push through, it would not only be beneficial for the Warriors, but also for the Rockets, as it would provide them with the ideal package they are looking for — a potential blockbuster trade involving “The Beard.” By sending Harden to the Bay Area, they would be receiving an All-Star in Thompson, a young prospect in Wiseman, and a future first-round pick. Thompson may be expected to miss an entire season due to injury, but once he returns to 100 percent health and regains his All-Star form, adding him to the core of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Christian Wood, and Danuel House Jr. could make the Rockets a team to fear in the Western Conference.