Houston made a blockbuster trade swapping Russell Westbrook for John Wall and a first rounder.
Reports emerged that James Harden wanted Wall after his chemistry with Westbrook waned. In just one season, that ended with a gentlemen’s sweep versus the Lakers in the playoffs, infighting ensued.
Now that Harden has a new running mate, former All-NBA guard Wall who’s played 32 games over the last two seasons, Houston and it’s fans are much more confident in Harden donning the red and white for years to come.
But is Harden still looking for a way out of Texas?
Last month, it was reported that Harden wanted to be traded to Brooklyn after rejecting a new contract extension. A rumored package for Harden was Levert, Dinwiddie, Allen and all the draft picks and swaps possible. But trade talks cooled after the initial report.
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With the high cost stars require in a trade (seen with Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday recently), Philadelphia is the most likely trade destination. Philadelphia holds two huge young assets in Simmons and Embiid that Houston could target in a trade. Harden and former Houston general manager Daryl Morey, who now resides in Philly, have a strong connection which fuels more trade rumors.
John Wall at his current state is not enough to entice Harden to stick around. History will repeat itself given the bridge-burning tendencies between the former MVP and past stars, like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.
After peaking in 2018 with a conference finals Game 7 against Golden State, it appears Harden’s tenure in Houston will end before the 2020-21 season. With a disappointed and disgruntled star, trades occur faster in the player-empowered era. Rumors are emerging that a potential trade to Philadelphia can happen while Brooklyn is engaging with a third team to add more incentives to trade with Houston.
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