Houston Rockets guard James Harden
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
James Harden finally reported to Rockets training camp earlier this week, but he has given no indication he wants to play in Houston during the 2020-21 campaign and beyond after expressing concern about the future of the franchise.
The disgruntled guard, whose preferred destination is the Brooklyn Nets, recently expanded his trade list to include three more teams: the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat.
According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the 76ers are seen as the favorites to land the three-time scoring champion if Houston decides to trade him.
Stein notes that the Rockets aren’t keen on trading Harden while the Sixers have no interest in trading Ben Simmons, who likely would have to be sent the other way in any deal. However, he also reports that “familiarity” between Philadelphia president Daryl Morey and the Rockets’ front office could result in the two sides reaching an agreement.
As the NBA preseason begins tonight Philadelphia ranks as the most likely destination when the Rockets eventually reach the point of trading James Harden, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 11, 2020
It’s hard to imagine a deal between the Rockets and Sixers coming to fruition. If one of Simmons or Joel Embiid isn’t included in a potential deal, Houston would probably walk away, especially considering it wants either Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant in a trade with the Nets.
Still, though, it seems like Morey might be able to pull off a deal for Harden. If he can do it while holding on to Simmons and Embiid, the Sixers will be among the best teams in the NBA.
Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. Although many think Boston sports fans are insufferable, Erin tries to see things from a neutral perspective. Her passion is hockey, and she believes defense wins championships. In addition to covering sports for Yardbarker, she covers Boston sports for NBC Sports Boston. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90