In the midst of the 2020-21 NBA season, rumors continue to swirl around All-Star shooting guard James Harden and his future with the Houston Rockets. Despite the moves the Rockets made in the 2020 offseason, Harden is still expected to be moved before the 2021 trade deadline. In recent months, “The Beard” has already been linked to several teams that want to boost their chances of contending for the NBA championship title this season.
One of the dark horse trade destinations for Harden is the Cleveland Cavaliers. In a recent article, Grant Afseth of NBA Analysis Network came up with a blockbuster trade idea that would enable the Cavaliers to land “The Beard” before the 2021 trade deadline. In the proposed scenario, Cleveland would be sending a package that includes Kevin Love, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro, Dante Exum, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2023 first-round pick to Houston in exchange for Harden, PJ Tucker, and Danuel House Jr.
The suggested deal would make a lot of sense for the Cavaliers, especially if they are serious about fully dominating the Eastern Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season. As Afseth noted, pairing Harden with Collin Sexton would allow Cleveland to form one of the most explosive backcourt duos in the league.
“The level of results Collin Sexton has achieved so far has been quite intriguing to see. As expected, the same applies for James Harden. In fact, they have been the most efficient scorers in the NBA with at least 90 possessions so far. For reference, Harden has produced 1.207 points per possession (PPP) and Sexton is at 1.2 PPP. The competitiveness that Sexton brings to the game defensively would be a welcomed complement to Harden. The Cavaliers would have two aggressive guards that can get downhill and pull-up from deep with the best of them. Cleveland’s offense would become supercharged in a sense.”
The Cavaliers would also be receiving two solid veteran role players in the potential deal. Tucker would immediately fill the hole left by Love at the power forward position, while House Jr. would give them a three-and-D player in their wing. If the core of Harden, Sexton, Andre Drummond, Tucker, and House Jr. mesh well and build good chemistry, the Cavaliers would have a realistic chance of beating powerhouse teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Boston Celtics in a best-of-seven series.
Meanwhile, the proposed scenario would also be beneficial for the Rockets as it would give them the ideal package that they have been looking for in a potential deal involving Harden. In exchange for “The Beard,” they would be receiving an All-Star caliber player in Love, young prospects in Garland and Okoro, and two future first-round selections.