The Houston Rockets could be on the verge of blowing it all up. General manager Daryl Morey is now with the Philadelphia 76ers, Russell Westbrook wants out, and former head coach Mike D’Antoni is now an assistant on staff under his former star Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash, the new coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Now, there’s serious speculation that James Harden could join him.
The Nets have been gearing up for the 2020-21 season for a while. Last year, they acquired Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Durant missed all of last season with the injury he sustained in the 2019 NBA Finals, but will reportedly be ready when the next season starts. Irving missed much of last year due to injury, but the young Nets core around those two got the team to the playoffs.
Harden trade rumors are running pretty rampant right now, with the Nets at the center. It would be hard to turn down the chance to add a former MVP and singular talent like James Harden if given the chance. He and Durant are obviously familiar from their time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It may not be the most obvious move for team construction or chemistry though.
Harden and Irving are both extremely ball-dominant players, and Durant can be too, though he’s more adaptable, as we saw when he slid into the Golden State Warriors lineup. A lineup with all three, along with sharpshooter Joe Harris and a center like Jarrett Allen or DeAndre Jordan would be extremely dangerous, but it would require those three superstars to really adapt the way they play to truly work.
The deal that could go down on Nov 22, according to Farbod Esnaashari of Sports Illustrated:
Houston Rockets receive: (a variation of) Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince, and Jarrett Allen.
Brooklyn Nets receive: James Harden pic.twitter.com/oRKY3eptBC
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) November 15, 2020
There are already some questions about the team led by Durant and Irving, and how that combo will play together, despite their friendship. Harden further complicates things, giving the team an unbelievable ceiling, and adding some insurance to the team in case Durant isn’t quite the same all-world player that he was before his Achilles injury. It makes things potentially more volatile as well.
*Nets win the tip*
Harden, Kyrie, and Durant in unison: pic.twitter.com/OiWybqKA6t
— I Think You Should League Pass (@nbaleave) November 14, 2020
Please Nets fans, if the Nets are truly in talks to acquire James Harden, I don’t wanna hear anything about “fit” or “depth”. Please. You do the deal 100/100 times.
— Himothy 🕸 (@EasymoneySlayer) November 14, 2020
James Harden posted this picture from Barclays Center in 2018, captioned:
“NY vibe is way different. WOW!”
Sounds like a guy who would love to play for the Nets. pic.twitter.com/7gSC5f5SqA
— Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) November 15, 2020
Nets get Harden and they're gonna be the first team ever to score 200 points in a game https://t.co/UX7gLQZjL6
— Rev. Bryan Young (@BryanIsTheKing) November 14, 2020
“Nets win the tip”
Harden and Kyrie:pic.twitter.com/f7b9AOVwBB
— Sportacus (@IamSportacus33) November 14, 2020
The rumored pieces that could be involved in the move are young Brooklyn Nets star Caris LeVert, who broke out in the Orlando bubble, as well as talented sixth man Spencer Dinwiddie, young center Jarrett Allen, and others. The Nets had one of the deeper rosters in the NBA, which kept them afloat after the injury to Kyrie.
This potential move would be one of the most significant in recent NBA history, but right now it is very much in the rumor phase. When someone like Adrian Wojnarowski or Shams Charania chimes in, we’ll really see things take off.