The Houston Rockets franchise has been imploding since last week, and it is getting worse. Despite many players being unsettled and eager to leave, star James Harden had insisted he would stay. But that situation has completely flipped and Harden could be the first player on his way out.
According to ESPN, Harden created history by becoming the first player in the NBA to reject a $50 million extension. The Rockets are becoming desperate to hold on to him and offered two years and $103 million on top of his current $133 million contract, but Harden wants to join the Brooklyn Nets with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
After eight seasons of unsuccessful playoff runs with the Rockets, he is ready to move on. Harden has had plenty of individual success in Houston during the regular season. The 2018 MVP award, All-Star in every season, All-NBA in seven out of eight seasons, and three scoring titles. Harden has achieved everything he could individually, so it is time for him to get the biggest achievement, the NBA title.
The Rockets have some leverage since Harden still has two more guaranteed years on his contract with them. They can make the process slow and get the maximum value out of any potential trade. The 76ers are also interested in trading for him, but the interest might not be mutual since Harden has his heart set on the Nets.
ESPN has mentioned that the Rockets and the Nets are engaging in talks, but there hasn’t been any significant progress yet. Harden’s $40 million contract is going to make it tough, and the Rockets will not accept anything below their valuation.
The Nets will have one of the best offensive trios of all-time if they pull off this trade. Durant and Harden are considered two of the greatest scorers of their generation, while Irving is a creative genius. The Nets will be expected to go all the way. Anything less than a title would be considered a failure for a team of such caliber.
The 2020 off-season was expected to be dull due to the lack of big-name free agents, but Harden has definitely spiced it up.