Latest On James Harden

In his latest look at the James Harden situation, Brian Windhorst of ESPN lists the Sixers, Nets, Heat, Celtics, and Raptors among the teams that have at least placed “courtesy calls” to the Rockets about the former MVP.

And while the Bucks reportedly don’t have interest in pursuing Harden, they did have an internal conversation about the possibility and ran it by Giannis Antetokounmpo before coming to that decision, Windhorst notes.

The Harden trade talk that dominated NBA headlines during the preseason has died down to some extent now that the season is underway and the 31-year-old is suiting up for the Rockets, but Windhorst believes it’s just a matter of time before a team convinces itself that Harden is the missing piece for a championship and pulls the trigger on a deal, like Toronto did for Kawhi Leonard in 2018.

Here’s more on Harden:

  • Although the Nuggets have been linked to Harden directly, they’re also interested in potentially getting involved in a multi-team trade involving the star guard even if they don’t end up with him, according to Windhorst.
  • Sam Amick of The Athletic wonders if the loss of scoring depth caused by Spencer Dinwiddie‘s ACL injury may motivate the Nets to push harder to acquire Harden. Of course, as we discussed earlier this week, Dinwiddie’s injury also diminishes the value of a player who likely would be part of any package the Nets offer.
  • Within that same Athletic article, Amick examines where things stand for the other teams linked to Harden, writing that the Sixers remain content to continue evaluating their current roster under Doc Rivers before making any major changes, while the Bucks don’t view Harden as a fit for their culture. Amick also evaluates the Heat, Nuggets, Trail Blazers, and Raptors, but doesn’t suggest that there’s traction on any front.
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