James Harden Trade Rumors: Rockets Star 'Trying to Force' Deal to Nets

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2020

Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) drives up court during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Houston Rockets star James Harden is reportedly hoping to form a new superteam alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, "Harden wants to move on from the Rockets and is trying to force his way via trade to Brooklyn."

Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne and Zach Lowe of ESPN reported Sunday that the idea of going to Brooklyn was "resonating with Harden" and the Nets were "considering the viability of a deal."

Harden spent the first three seasons of his career playing alongside Durant with the Oklahoma City Thunder, helping the team reach the NBA Finals in 2012 before being traded to Houston.

The 31-year-old has developed into one of the best players in the NBA since then, earning eight straight All-Star selections plus one MVP award and three straight scoring titles.

Houston hasn't found as much team success, reaching the playoffs in all eight years but failing to advance beyond the Western Conference Finals. The team has lost in the second round in each of the last two years and is now going through a period of transition without general manager Daryl Morey or head coach Mike D'Antoni.

The team announced it hired new general manager Rafael Stone and head coach Stephen Silas earlier this month.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Instead of waiting through a potential rebuild, Harden would join a ready-made contender in Brooklyn.

The Nets made the playoffs last season despite no appearances from Durant and just 20 games from Irving while each dealt with injuries. Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert led the squad to a 35-37 record and the No. 7 seed in the East, creating a lot of excitement for the two All-Stars return to full strength in 2020-21.

According to FanDuel, Brooklyn is tied for the second-best odds to win the 2021 title at +600 ($100 bet wins $600).

Adding another elite player in Harden would be a dream scenario for the organization, although other teams could create a bidding war on the trade market this offseason.