What began as a top preferred trade destination for Harden in the Brooklyn Nets, other teams have gotten in on the act. Late in the week, Harden reportedly showed interest in the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat. While those teams appeared to be on the top of the list, according to NBA lines there are other teams allegedly in the mix as possible landing spots for Harden.
While the Raptors have a budding star in Pascal Siakam, when Kawhi Leonard decided to join the Clippers, Toronto lost its lone superstar. The 76ers likely would have to include Ben Simmons in a deal to get Harden, so if they are unwilling to so do, the Rockets may not get a better offer than Siakam. In addition, the fit for Harden in Toronto is good considering the amount of talent the Raptors lost in free agency over the past two years. If Toronto believes Harden is the missing piece to get back to a championship, they could try to swing a deal.
Next, imagine Harden teaming up with Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota. A great pick-and-roll player and excellent outside shooter for a big man, Towns and Harden could turn Minnesota into one of the top offensive teams in the NBA. What might it take the Timberwolves to get Harden? Likely a player with the caliber of a D’Angelo Russell would be necessary to pull off a trade.
While most teams in the James Harden sweepstakes are wondering if they have enough to trade for him. In the case of the New Orleans Pelicans, that isn’t the issue. The Pelicans can trade a slew of first round picks and any number of role players. While a Zion Williamson and Harden featured lineup sounds great on paper, it’s probably not the smartest move for the Pelicans. Williamson is likely a star of the future, but his best days could be when Harden is watching games from his couch at home. The thought is tempting for the team, so it can’t completely be ruled out.
In Denver, the Nuggets have a great core in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray that has already produced one of the top offenses in the NBA. Nevertheless, the same discussions as to why the Nets should trade for Harden can be applied to the Nuggets. The Nets also have a top offense and suspect defenses. The scenario of Harden-Jokic-Murray in the same lineup would be devastating to the opponents, but consider this unlikely to play out.