The Houston Rockets are in trouble. Not long after Russell Westbrook sought to be traded by the team, James Harden could be the next star headed out. Harden has been linked to a possible move to the Brooklyn Nets and not even a $103 million two-year deal can change his mind.
The Nets may have something better to offer to Harden and it is not about the money. The answer to that is a shot at the NBA title. Should Harden join the Nets, he would reunite with Kevin Durant and man the backcourt with Kyrie Irving, ESPN reported. In all, it appears the former NBA MVP wants to reach the NBA Finals at the least.
This report comes days after it was reported that the Nets are seriously pursuing Harden. It was Sports Illustrated who revealed that Brooklyn was willing to offer multiple players to land the “Bearded One.” Among the names mentioned include Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen.
Sources: After turning down an extension offer to become the first $50M a year player in league history, James Harden’s message to Houston is clear: Get me to Brooklyn. Rockets and Nets have been in contact, but there’s been no meaningful dialogue. https://t.co/qwJOQOxz5U — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 17, 2020
Though that initial report raised questions on authenticity, the fact that Harden is turning down a big deal may justify that. Harden could have been the first NBA player to make $50 million a year had he agreed to the contract extension.
Probably unaware of what the Rockets had planned, the 31-year-old wants to play for a team that has the NBA title in mind. Should he go on to move to Brooklyn, he could be the final piece that first-year head coach Steve Nash would need.
Aside from potentially being a good fit for the run-and-gun offense the Nets are likely to execute, he would also reunite with former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni is serving as one of Nash’s deputies.
Last season, Harden was his old explosive self. He averaged 34.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game, numbers that any NBA team would love to have. However, Harden may not need to do that much for the Nets.
The fact that Durant and Irving are also scoring machines means Harden just has to blend in. Questions on ball sharing will be up in the air but Nash is likely to address that.
For the Rockets, it places them in a spot. Westbrook did ask for a trade but the turn of events could douse that. Houston could also dangle the former NBA MVP a big deal although Westbrook may have winning at the back of his mind as well.
Hence, there is a big possibility that Houston may end up with none of their two stars next season. Would this signal another rebuilding process for the Rockets?