In particular, the 2018 MVP asked to be referred to the Brooklyn Nets to connect with his former teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Three weeks before the start of the 2020-21 season and fresh after a playoff result in the second round, the Rockets are experiencing turbulence. Days after the team’s bubble ended, GM Daryl Morey and head coach Mike D’Antoni also stayed with the franchise.
Russell Westbrook – for whom the Rockets gave up Chris Paul and two picks from the first round – also called for a change of scene.
The owner, Tilman Fertitta, has suffered major financial blows over the past year, and some NBA media outlets have speculated that his political donations angered Rockets players.
In October, Fertitta promoted Rafael Stone to general manager and named Stephen Silas to head coach. In his first free agency, Silas swapped Robert Covington for the Portland Trail Blazers and signed the Bigs Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins, among others.
The Golden State Warriors, eager to get back to the championship fight, were apparently one of the teams closely watching the tremors in H-Town. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Warriors President of Basketball Operations, Bob Myers named the Rockets the new GM because of Harden’s availability.
« They asked several teams, » said Charania on Complex’s « Load Management » podcast. “The warriors called James Harden once. ”
With three years and roughly $ 133 million on his contract (including a $ 47 million player option for 2022-23), the Rockets would wisely keep Harden as a member of their franchise rather than comply with its tight commercial demand.
« But at the end of the day, it’s a moot point if you don’t have the parts you need. Houston has the leverage. He’s still under contract for two years, ”added Charania.
Houston may also switch to Full Larry David mode and hold onto Harden out of defiance. In either case, the talks between the warriors and the missiles do not seem very advanced.
“Houston was open to various offers and suggestions,” said Charania, “but it has never gotten that far. ”
« I heard that from Klay just before the injury, » said Charania. « I don’t even think an offer was made. I think it was just a question like, “We have a great potential offer here if you want to discuss. ‘
Hypothetically, Harden’s pairing with the Splash Brothers would have been offensively devastating for the rest of the league and could possibly be reminiscent of the Warriors Championship super teams with Durant, who are not seen as versatile or defensive.
Without Thompson for 2020-21, Golden State could now legitimately use another goal option like Harden (or Bradley Beal or Blake Griffin) to defeat Steph Curry and Co. to flank.
Instead, Myers turned the 24-year-old grand piano Kelly Oubre Jr. . to mate with Andrew Wiggins.
If there had been a Harden deal before November. 18 draft, the no. 2 overall selection – which ultimately hit Warriors Center James Wiseman – would certainly have been included.
If things continue to dissolve in Houston, and the Rockets eventually sound out deals on Harden – and look beyond Brooklyn, which they will – the Warriors could have an intriguing package to offer, especially if Oubre Jr. . and Wiseman play well for Steve Kerr and the Dubs.
The combined salaries of Wiggins ($ 29 million) and Oubre Jr. . (15 million. USD) roughly correspond to Hardens (42 million USD). USD) for 2020-21, which makes a trade financially feasible. Green is set to make $ 22 million in 2020-21 if the Dubs consider adding him to a blockbuster with Houston. The Kevan Looney Six Year Veterans Center makes $ 5. 2 million, and the Rockets would certainly be interested in second striker Eric Paschall wrapping up a promising rookie campaign. Additionally, the Rockets would surely be asking about Wiseman, Minnesota’s 2021 picks (which Golden State owns), another future premiere (2024), and multiple pick swaps.
It works. Of course, Fertitta would have to send his disgruntled superstar to the team that repeatedly defeated him in the playoffs during his most recent dynasty – a performance Fertitta may not want to personally entertain.
« No, I’m not going to comment on everything that has been written about us, true or false, » said Myers. « I just won’t do this. I appreciate your need to ask, but if every call we made or didn’t make I had to leave a comment . . . I don’t think he’s productive on my side. ”
Whether Harden and Curry could gel or dominate together is a legitimate question, especially in the playoffs. Both players are among the most ball-dominant players in the history of the league – Harden ranks 8th. All-time place in career, while Curry was ranked 26th. 3rd place – although Curry could easily slip into Thompson’s catch-and-shoot role for 2020-21 (Harden is a legendarily terrible off-ball mover).
On the other hand, this role would limit Curry’s effectiveness as a creative on-ball maestro and the team’s full defense.
Looking ahead to the 2020-21 season, a Harden Thompson acquisition would result in the three, placing an especially heavy defensive burden on the man who suffered two consecutive injuries during the season. Presumably the warriors could train Harden’s defense as well as any organization.
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Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Washington Wizards, John Wall, NBA Most Valuable Player Award, Oklahoma City Thunder
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