Houston Rockets star James Harden recently expanded his trade list to include three teams beyond the Brooklyn Nets — the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat have a “mutual interest” in Harden. If the Rockets decide to trade him, Jackson adds that the Heat would have interest in him. However, Houston has repeatedly said it doesn’t plan to trade the three-time scoring champion.
While Miami does have interest in Harden, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported earlier this week that the 76ers would be the “most likely destination” for the eight-time All-Star. However, the Sixers would have to offer Ben Simmons in exchange for Harden.
Both Harden and Russell Westbrook made their frustrations with the Rockets organization known last month. The duo reportedly was concerned about the future of the team following the departures of Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey.
Those reports seem to be true as Westbrook requested, and was traded, to the Washington Wizards last week in exchange for John Wall, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since December 2018.
Harden is on the Rockets’ payroll for two more seasons and has a $47.4 million player option for 2022-23. With Houston already without Westbrook, it would be very shorthanded if it were to trade Harden. If Harden exits, the Rockets will be forced to fight for a playoff spot in the difficult Western Conference with Wall, P.J. Tucker, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon and Christian Wood.