Rockets Seek Porter Jr. In Potential Harden Trade With Nuggets

The Rockets have focused on Michael Porter Jr. in trade discussions with the Nuggets as the centerpiece of a potential James Harden trade, Mike Singer of the Denver Post reports.

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).

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63 thoughts on “Rockets Seek Porter Jr. In Potential Harden Trade With Nuggets

    • Patches O'Houlihan

      I 2nd that!

      Denver has a good thing going, don’t mortgage the future for this guy.

    • I would not do this if the nuggets make this trade. Their future is so much more than James Harden and he would not win them a championship.

      • x%sure

        Of course they’re more. That’s why they could handle Harden. They have a guard spot wide open and with one more piece, LA and LA are both also-rans!
        Harden is a better ingredient than Porter IMO.
        Harden’s effect on Jokic?— Who moves Jokic?
        Nugs are Nugs, they do what they’ve been doing for five years.

    • Sillivan

      You mean Porter Jr would get Achilles injury when he arrives in Houston?

      Rockets have 4 Achilles injury as of now.

  1. Youre wrong if you think not adding an mvp to a team with 2 studs is a wrong move

    • case7187

      It’s more about who it is and his toxic attitude why they shouldn’t make the move not how good the player is

    • Freddy H


      How’d that work out with CP3 and Westbrook?

      Harden is a ball hog. Much better off with the ball in Murray’s hands and Jokic taking shots.

      Let alone in the West where Harden is already proven ineffective in the playoffs.

      Im trying to think of a team other than the Knicks or Rockets that Harden would actually help…

      Drawing a blank.

      • Freddy H

        Re: Harden for Bennie no-shot might actually work out just because Simmons is overrated for the exact opposite reason.

      • hiflew

        It worked out pretty good actually. It’s not like Houston has been at the bottom of the league. They were the 4th best team in a very strong West last season.

        You are just silly if you think Harden doesn’t improve EVERY team in the league. He was just voted best SG in the league by a HUGE margin by a panel of NBA GMs. That means over half of the GMs in the league believe Harden would be an improvement to not only their team, but every other team in the league too.

      • hiflew

        When you are 5 or worse. Of course, since the Nuggets were the 3 seed last year I don’t get why Harden makes them top 4. Harden on the Nuggets would make them 1a with the Lakers and to be honest, I would probably put them ahead of the Lakers because eventually Father Time is going to slow down LBJ.

    • Arnold Ziffel

      Harden is poison and will ruin the chemistry the team has developed over the years, besides Porter could be better in the long run.

      • Jeff Zanghi

        I’m not saying they should make the trade — in fact I don’t think they should, and do think that Harden really isn’t a great player to build around — he’s just too inefficient… having said that though… I don’t think Porter is ever going to be bette than Harden. He might be a better fit and he could even be an all-star… but Harden is undeniably one of the best players in the NBA and I just don’t see Porter becoming as good as Harden is… even if I might prefer Porter over Harden in the long-run.

      • Freddy H

        Only team Harden helps out is a fantasy basketball team.

        As far as getting a team over the top, this has Melo to OKC written all over it.

  2. Jason Lancaster

    If Philly is serious about a straight Harden for Simmons flip, I guarantee Denver would facilitate that for MPG, Harris, Barton, and picks. Simmons goes to Denver, Harden goes to Philly.

    I know I’m a broken record, but that’s a three team deal that every team will win in some respect.

    • Sillivan

      Nuggets would demand 2 future Firsts from 76ers and Rockets because small town can’t afford 3 max and a few midsize contracts
      4th team involves to offer assets

      • Jason Lancaster

        Denver Nuggets are owned by Sam Walton’s daughter (Walmart heiress) and a very wealthy real estate developer. There’s no problem affording a winner, and they’ve paid the tax before.

      • Howie415

        Actually, Denver is a midsize NBA media market. They can afford the contracts.

      • I’m sorry… Denver is a ‘small town’? It’s one of the biggest cities in the country and the Nuggets are the only team for 500 miles. Denver is bigger than Boston and Colorado is one of the fastest growing states in the US.

    • PhillyPhan69

      The sixers would lose…hence why we are not trading Simmons. Tobias or bye bye it’s that simple.

  3. The Howler

    Porter suffered a serious injury in college. Will he hold up over time? I would pull the trigger on this one. Harden is a “professional” and would find a way to fit in Denver. Porter, filler salary + a first and two seconds is my initial offer.

  4. Steven St Croix

    Harden gets a lot of heat but dude is a hall of Famer in his prime. If you have to trade Simmons, do it. If it takes MP jr +, you do it.

  5. Luckylefty2

    Sadly if I am the rockets I am not doing this trade. Porter JR isn’t guaranteed to have a long a career.

    • Arnold Ziffel

      What has Harden ever won? The Nuggets would be stupid to give up MPJ for him.

      • Hey arnold.. harden won the MVP.. how bout a 36 point a night scoring title? What has porter won?? A starting job yet?

      • Oh man, I am not a fan of Harden or the Rockets or the Nuggets – and I get being a homer for your team – but Michael Porter Jr. will never be in the same discussion as James Harden on the court. Now if you hate the trade idea because Harden will mess with Jokic’s role as the unquestioned, if overlooked nationally, stud of the team, then that I would get. But stop with this Porter Jr. nonsense. If he’s a trade chip to get a star, Denver should cash it in.

      • x%sure

        pc01, agree that DEN should cash it in, but…
        Harden is NINE years older than Porter…
        Consider the points ahead of them, not behind them…
        MPJ hits 3s like Harden. No stepback, but no need at 6-10.
        Harden has been built around intentionally…
        While MPG has basically been held back due to maturity & internal competition.
        Jokic is inalterable and doesn’t care that much about scoring.
        HOU has Wall & Gordon to take over, and some team promise if Harden does not foul THEM up.

  6. Tatsumaki

    Mpj, Barton, Harris, morris and 2 future firsts for harden and tucker.





    2 future unprotected firsts help build young team in next 4/5 years. Rockets hope mpj lives up to expectations

  7. Breezy

    So basically, Denver wants to put a package of Millsap and Bol Bol together in exchange for Harden.

    • Tatsumaki

      Denver won’t trade murray or Jokic but mpj is on table as the article states. The question is whether mpj or simmons has a brighter future

  8. Dxit90a

    Denver has to roll the dice a d gamble that their coaches can handle Harden. Porter Jr is also a risky player with his injury history only dr know how risky. I would pull the trigger if I was Denver and only include two first and one flip first .

  9. Sillivan

    Nets 8th man LaVert is far better than 76ers 4th man

    3rd man Harris
    4th man Green
    5th man Curry

    76ers supporting cast is very weak
    Nets can sweep them

    76ers need Harden

    • Sillivan

      76ers need to make trade to win the East
      Nets 12th man Jeff Green is better than old Danny Green

      • PhillyPhan69

        So are you 5? Or just lacking in any basketball knowledge and common sense in general? Your posts made me laugh at first, now….man you just need help.

    • shawn hemp

      Name 8 better players on the nets?? I’ll wait. He’s there third best player just cause he comes off the bench doesn’t mean starting 5 is all better. It’s just a better role for him on this team

    • jump shot

      All scenarios/players for the 76ers.
      Don’t forget Doc “3-1” Rivers is still the coach.

    • hiflew

      Yeah he might be the 8th best Net if you consider everyone that has played for the Nets in the past 50 years or so. But there are only 2 current Nets better than him and both of them have question marks right now. KD with the injury and age and Kyrie with his insanity.

  10. Simmons>Russ

    Nuggets shouldn’t give up Porter Jr I’d keep the chemistry high and have faith in your young group. Porter Jr is what 22 meaning he will have 10+ years in the league whereas Harden is 32 would bring bad chemistry and potentially upset that locker room.

    If Nuggets say no then that lowers Hardens price significantly considering the fights and arguments in practice and the need to move him as soon as possible.

    Sixers should jump at the chance, give up Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, Mattise Thybulle, 2 firsts and 2 pick swaps for Harden and Tucker.

    Sixers with Curry Harden Simmons Tucker and Embiid would be crazy good then Milton Green Scott Howard all off the bench that’s a championship

    • bowserhound

      Nuggets are a smaller trade or FA signing away from being a force. Trading for a guy who will pout his way out of town within 2 years is a waste. Best case scenario if this trade happens is Harden demands Murray or Jokic to be traded within 6 months.

    • DaBlow216

      Porter also has serious health issues in his past. He is not guaranteed 10 plus years in the league.

    • PhillyPhan69

      That is the first sixers trade for Harden that makes sense from a Philly perspective.

  11. Sillivan

    76ers have to trade Harris to third team that is willing to offer young stars

    Durant 22 and 5 in 25 minutes
    Wiseman 19 and 6 in 24 minutes
    Wiseman is a solid 23 feet shooter
    3 of 4 beyond 23 feet
    Wiseman is just a Chris Bosh type of player

  12. x%sure

    Denver should go with this in theory. The main hindrance to Denver winning a title (which I am on board with) is teasing out the tease of MPJ. They just lost Jeremi Grant because of the team probably coddling MPJas a starter (read between the lines). One does not coddle one of that family; but one does with an immature huge talent like MPJ. The Nuggets should let another team do it, and turn attention to Bol Bol.

    Harden could mess up Philly b/c they’re already fragile in connection.
    Harden would NOT mess up Denver b/c 1) they are solid, 2) the players know no other way, 3) their offense goes through Jokic and JUST TRY TO MAKE JOKIC CHANGE. He won’t. Harden could easily be ignored if it comes to that. Let’s not transfer the fear automatically from PHL to DEN.

    Harden is used to GM Morey doing the inside work for him in his desire to dominate… he is too cool to do it himself. He uses refs to get him to the line. Not sure Murray would give him the time of day if HC Malone said to let him find his own way.
    I would like that because he’s looks to be in a rut and the guy I saw in Arizona could adjust almost as a preference.

    DEN does need another piece for a title people say.

  13. DaBlow216

    If they signed Grant to that 20 million then this deal could be a possibility. Denver’s pieces could have been moved laterally to other teams after off season acquisition trade moratorium.
    Grant could have been moved to obtain a late first, and G Harris nothing late first, and so could Morris.
    Thats 3 first plus two Houston first and MP Jr and Bol Bol.

  14. KnickerbockerAl

    LeVert is better than Porter IMO. If the Nets offer is true (Allen, Dinwiddie, LeVert and picks). Its by far best offer out there. Knicks would take Dinwiddie for a pick and player. Sixers don’t need Harden. They need to fix what they have. Put Milton at PG Ben at wing. Porter has potential still need to be careful about the back. I don’t care about Rockets so. If I’m Denver I do Porter, Harris, Barton. Put Harden at the wing. Murray runs team better. Harden will get easy looks. I doubt this is true. Rockets probably spreading rumors to bring up value. Best thing for Rockets is to move him as soon as possible.

    • phillyballers

      LeVert is better than Porter right now. That’s just due to age and playing time. Knicks could certainly be involved in any Harden trade as a facilitator taking back a multi year deal.

  15. Theone23

    If I’m Denver, I seriously consider trading for Harden IF the cost is MPJ and a few picks.

    The goal is to always win a championship, and while Harden certainly has his short-comings, he would also infuse a lot of talent into a squad that was already top 4 last season.

    Sometimes its better to gamble for that ultimate goal, given that it is a calculated gamble. Better to shoot for the stars and fail, than to limber in purgatory forever. Denver isn’t good enough to win a championship as is, so if the cost is MPJ, its definitely worth it to me.

  16. kingsforever 2

    Philly and Boston are the teams that need it. I don’t see either yet. Porter would make sense for the Rockets because he can stretch the field. He’s just like Trae the worst defender in the league

  17. I’m 90% sure this whole debacle is being driven by Harden’s agent and not the Houston Rockets.

  18. I'm a starboy not a Dr...

    Denver didn’t trade for Derozen, let’s see if they trade for Harden. Let’s see if MPJ, Barton & Harris with picks will be enough….

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