However, the talks didn’t gain any traction, Singer adds. This updates an earlier report that the Nuggets are unwilling to give up Jamal Murray in a package for Harden. Murray was never included in any discussions and Nikola Jokic is also off-limits.
Porter would give the Rockets a potential star in return for the perennial All-Star guard, who wants to be dealt. Any potential deal with Denver would also have to include Gary Harris and/or Will Barton for salary-matching purposes salaries and that would seriously deplete the Nuggets at the wing spots, Singer notes.
Harden would make for an intriguing third star to join forces with Jokic and Murray but he could also wreck the good chemistry the team displayed while making its run to the conference finals last season.
Porter averaged 9.3 PPG and 4.7 RPG in 55 games (16.4 MPG) during his de facto rookie season in 2019/20 after he was sidelined the previous campaign due to a back injury. His playing time grew during the playoffs, as he averaged 11.4 PPG and 6.7 RPG while shooting 38.2% from long range.
Houston has reportedly been seeking a return that features an All-Star-caliber young player, along with several other assets (young players or draft picks).