Nothing apparently will change the mind of James Harden when it comes to his desire to leave the Rockets.
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The James Harden saga isn’t going to end until he’s traded from the Houston Rockets. That much has been made very clear over the last month or so.
Harden reportedly is “unmoved and uninterested” in remaining with the Rockets despite the arrival of John Wall, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. The desire for a fresh start isn’t personal with Wall, ESPN adds.
After missing a portion of training camp last week, Harden told Rockets management that he intends to be “professional and engaged” when he rejoins the team following quarantine and multiple COVID-19 tests.
Harden recently expanded his trade list to include the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks. While his preferred destination is Brooklyn, to reunite with Kevin Durant, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported last week that Philadelphia is a more likely landing spot for the three-time scoring champion.
The Rockets have reportedly been in contact with the Nets and Sixers about a potential deal, though neither team wants to give up large assets such as Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. ESPN reports that a broader, three-team trade might have to take place in order for a Harden deal to be completed.
While it seems like Brooklyn and Philadelphia are the most likely destinations for Harden, the Heat made it known over the weekend that they have a “mutual interest” in the 31-year-old. No information has been revealed about the Bucks’ level of interest in acquiring Harden.
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 Russell Westbrook, it would be very shorthanded if it were to trade Harden. If he 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.
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
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