Rockets Moving Closer To Harden Trade; Sixers, Nets In Mix

2:34pm: The Sixers, who have traded away a protected 2025 first-rounder, are attempting to scrounge up more draft picks to sweeten the pot for the Rockets, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. As Stein explains (via Twitter), Philadelphia is making an effort to keep Maxey out of a potential deal.


1:47pm: The Rockets continue to haggle over exactly which players and other assets would be included a Harden trade, but league sources say the Sixers appear to be the favorites, tweets Stein.

Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle confirms that Philadelphia has offered Simmons, but says the Rockets and 76ers have yet to agree on the rest of a trade structure. Houston wants Thybulle included in the package, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.


1:28pm: The Rockets are pursuing a Sixers trade package that would be headlined by Simmons and Tyrese Maxey, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). The 76ers are known to be interested in P.J. Tucker in addition to Harden, Stein says (via Twitter).


1:13pm: As the Rockets seriously consider their trade options, they conducted today’s practice without Harden in attendance, head coach Stephen Silas told reporters (Twitter link via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon).

We felt that it was best for the group and best for James not to come to practice,” Silas said.

The Rockets plan to keep Harden away from the team until a trade is done, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne (Twitter link). That’s another sign that the team is moving toward finalizing a deal in the very near future.

Woj and Shelburne add (via Twitter) that Houston’s talks with Brooklyn and Philadelphia were gaining momentum in recent days, even before Tuesday’s postgame presser.


1:04pm: It appears the Rockets have increased their efforts to trade James Harden in the wake of his blunt assessment of the team’s shortcomings on Tuesday night. According to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic, Houston is “sifting through offers” from the Nets and Sixers and could move quickly to complete a deal.

Sources tell Charania and Amick that the Nets have prepared a package that would include four future first-round picks and three pick swaps. Teams are only permitted to trade draft picks up to seven years in advance and can’t leave themselves without a first-round pick in consecutive future seasons, so Brooklyn is essentially willing to put all its first-rounders on the table.

In that scenario, the Nets would presumably trade its 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027 selections and agree to pick swaps for 2022, 2024, and 2026. However, The Athletic’s duo cautions that Brooklyn may hesitate to mortgage so many future assets.

It’s also not clear which players the Nets would make available in such a package. Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link) is among those who have heard that Houston hasn’t been enamored with the players the Nets have to offer. Previous reports have suggested a third team may be necessary to complete a trade sending Harden to Brooklyn, but it’s not clear if the 31-year-old’s comments on Tuesday night changed the equation and prompted the Rockets to lower their asking price a little.

As for the Sixers, Charania and Amick note that the Rockets have pursued a package headlined by Ben Simmons. The report doesn’t make it explicitly clear whether or not Simmons is on the table, but suggests he could be had. According to The Athletic, the Rockets and 76ers have also discussed Matisse Thybulle, a player Houston likes.

While Harden has expanded his list of preferred destinations beyond Brooklyn and Philadelphia, those were said to be the first two teams he expressed interest in joining and are still believed to be atop his wish list. Both teams make sense as fits, since they have the assets to acquire Harden without giving up their very best players.

Joining the Nets would give Harden the opportunity to reunite with former teammate Kevin Durant, while heading to Philadelphia would see him rejoin former Rockets GM Daryl Morey and team up with star center Joel Embiid.

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82 thoughts on “Rockets Moving Closer To Harden Trade; Sixers, Nets In Mix

    • whiplash

      If the four 1st and 3 pick swaps are true, pull the trigger Rockets. The Nets will be good but in the off chance things don’t go well for the them, you own their future. Although a package of Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle with some picks might be more attractive since the Nets are that much better than the Sixers.

      • whiplash

        I would add that I wouldn’t accept any of the Nets younger guys so 3rd team should be included.

      • Tatsumaki

        I think sixers get him, especially if they include simmons, thybulle, and Maxey plus 1/2 1st rounders in 25’ 27’ for harden and tucker that’s a no brainer for rockets. Rockets with simmons, thybulle, maxey, wood, wall, cousins would be a solid young team for years to come. As well as wall has played he could be set for additional assets similar to paul with okc.

      • seamaholic

        Depends what the salary filler is. Nets don’t really have any bad highly paid players. So unless the Rockets are OK taking Kyrie (unlikely, especially with Wall there already) I don’t see the fit at all. Harden + Tucker is $50m, which means $40m has to go back.

        • whiplash

          I don’t see a fit with Simmons and Wall either but at this point I’d take Simmons over Irving

          • Sillivan

            76ers don’t have enough picks
            That is the reason Rockets have to wait

    • buttholesurfer69

      nets about to repeat 2012 all over this time w/ the rockets

      have fun w/ no picks til 2035

  1. Steven St Croix

    If Houston does not get an acceptable package, don’t trade him. Let him sulk at home. Dude is a hall of fame player and Houston is altering their franchise with this trade. They need to get a spectacular return or they will be worse than they are now.

  2. mcmillankmm

    Is it definitely Philly where he is going? I would like to see an outside the box destination….like when George got sent to OKC or Kawhi to Toronto

    • parx

      No chance they are giving up Simmons and maxey, it’ll be one or the other and picks, and if you are the sixers you have all negotiating power because of what harden said, all you dudes are tripping thinking the rockets are still gettin full value for a dude they aren’t allowing at practice

      • hiflew

        According to the New York Times, there is more than just a chance. No offense man, but I trust their journalistic chops more than yours or anyone else on this site, myself included.

  3. Sillivan

    Rumor
    Nets offer 4 future Firsts and 3 swaps
    LaVert
    Allen
    And others

    Rockets want 7 future Firsts
    George = 5 firsts and 2 starters

    Holiday = 5 Firsts and 2 starters

  4. Luckylefty2

    Philly better get on it! Simmons, Thybulle, Maxey & couple 1st for harden is a no brainer.

    • whiplash

      I think it would take more than 2 first for Harden. Look what Morey gave up for Westbrook- Chris Paul, 2 first and 2 swaps.

    • seamaholic

      They can dig their own grave I guess. I wouldn’t trade Simmons straight up for Harden personally. And that’s not even counting the locker-room cancer aspect of the Beard. Between the fact that basketball has defense as well as offense in it, and the $10m+ difference in price tag, and the 8 year difference in ages, I don’t do even that.

  5. AY2021

    Can someone explain to why Ben Simmons isn’t clearly on the table? I keep hearing how elite of a player he is, then I watch him play and see his stats and that doesn’t add up. He’s not even close to being a franchise player and Harden is 1000x better player, do that trade now Philly!!

    • windycitykid89

      He is on the table. He would actually be in the deal. Simmons would go to Houston with Maxey and/or Thybulle and multiple 1sts.

    • hiflew

      I asked the same question before he was drafted. I watched him play several times at LSU and thought he was a good, but not great, player. I’m not the best scout in the world, but I have watched hoops a long time.

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      Simmons is only 24 and is under contract through 2024.

      No one is saying that Simmons is better than Harden, but giving up Simmons (and more players) for Harden doesn’t make economic sense, and doesn’t make the team so much better that you would punt on your future like that, imo.

      No other team (so far as we’ve heard) is putting together a package that would require the 76’er’s to include Simmons, unless Brooklyn is offering Irving.

    • seamaholic

      Ben Simmons is probably the best defensive player in the NBA (who’s not a center). He can play 1-5 very well and is absolutely an elite player. The game is not all about putting the ball in the bucket, even though Simmons does that pretty well too. If he ever gets comfortable shooting from distance — and he’s only 24 — he wins MVP’s.

        • I give no fox

          Let’s be realistic. What makes him overrated? He made the all nba team, was in on DPOY, is a perennial all star. Yea, he’s not a shooter but he does everything else extremely well. What makes him overrated?

  6. dtrainriotmaker

    Personally I don’t think the nets need him . But if Kyrie is gonna be out or decides not to okay or whatever is going on with him maybe they should . But last time they made a huge trade with picks it took them a long to recover . I think the nets should pass on harden and look at other options . Allen is someone they should keep . Let the sixers get him

    • El Don

      Last time BRK did a trade for scrubs & dross not for a superstar, right?

  7. JimmyTheC

    Does anyone know if Houston can take back more than one player? I don’t think they would have room.

    • dtrainriotmaker

      It’s all about salary they would have to take back more then one with hardens salary . So yes they can

      • hiflew

        They would still need roster spots available. For example, if you take back 5 players for Harden, you have to still have 4 roster spots open by either including more players in the trade or waiving them.

  8. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    So, Harden stomped his little crybaby foot and will get what he wants…

    • Luckylefty2

      He asked then privately first. The rockets have been the stubborn ones in this situation.

      • windycitykid89

        He purposefully showed up late to training camp and basically quit on his team. He disrupted the entire locker room with his crybaby antics. He’s the stubborn one in this whole situation.

        • Luckylefty2

          He showed up late because he wasnt dealt DUHHHHH….I just dont understand why all of a sudden they’re willing to trade him now when he PRIVATELY asked them to do it before the season started.

          • Appalachian_Outlaw

            They’re trading him now because he’s throwing a tantrum, and unfortunately that’s all it takes in the NBA to get your way.

            • Luckylefty2

              My man stop acting like a casual. You understand that this is a players league,right?? Harden was curteous to ask them privately, they didn’t abide and now it has come to this.

              • Appalachian_Outlaw

                “Didn’t abide”? Lol. Who is James Harden to say jump, and why are the Rockets obligated to ask how high? You’re correct, it is a player’s league. Harden is well within his rights to ask for a trade, but he doesn’t get to demand it or set the timeframe. The Rockets could park him on the bench or send him home. I honestly wish they would. If he wants a title so bad, take that from him. Let him stomp his feet and shake his fists.

          • windycitykid89

            They’re willing to trade him now because he PUBLICLY MADE IT KNOWN THAT HE QUIT ON HIS TEAM when he could’ve just sucked it up, put up his normal stat line and got moved later when his value could’ve been higher. DUHHHHHHH

            • Luckylefty2

              What part of he asked for a trade(privately) at the beginning of the season AKA he doesn’t want to be there anymore don’t you understand??

          • crb15

            Yea, sure. He ask them to get Howard, they get him. He ask them to get Westbrook, they get him. He ask them to get Wall, they get him. Just because he asked to get traded, doesn’t mean they HAVE to find a trade for him immediately. Not to mention, “before the season” was only like 2 months. And when did he ask? After they went and got Wall to pacify him at the beginning of December. So that means he only gave them two weeks. They put out feelers to see what they could get back, and obviously didn’t see anything worth it. Then the stubborn cry baby pulls all of these stunts. But yea the Rockets are the stubborn ones.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Will Houston be required to include his pacifier in this trade? Or will Philly have to find one of their own for him? If Houston wants Simmons, best hold out for the pacifier and try to push for his crib, too.

  9. Nets would be nuts to send that pick package to the Rockets for Harden. Marks, as much as anyone, should understand why; but if he doesn’t, then the owner needs to think about it and not OK the deal.

    On the other hand, if it’s offered along with LeVert and Allen, then the Rockets would be nuts not to take it.

    • dtrainriotmaker

      Agreed , the nets would be crazy to offer it. And the rockets would be crazy to not take it

    • seamaholic

      Yup. He’s not even playing very well. He’s 31 and that’s about when players (LeBron notwithstanding) start to decline.

  10. Cap & Crunch

    Simmons Maxxey Thybull and 2 firsts should get this done today for Harden and Tucker-

    Id hold pat if Philly but get the intrigue

  11. macdaddy96

    Harden Westbrook mvp has to be in tears. You alive bud? Temperature and pulse check. Harden gone any minute now…. poor fella.

  12. Reflect

    Philly is going from legit contender to a joke now. The only way this makes a team better is if it is the Nets and they ditch Irving as part of the deal.

    • Tatsumaki

      I think rockets would do irving and lavert plus 2/3 1sts in a heart beat over simmons plus. Right now I doubt nets move kyrie though

      • goastros123

        No, the Rockets wouldn’t and shouldn’t take Kyrie and Lavert and picks over Simmons plus. Have you been following the Kyrie drama in Brooklyn? If you’re the Rockets, you DO NOT want that drama on your team especially after just trading guy who is causing drama on your team like Harden.

        • Tatsumaki

          Rockets want upside, kyrie > simmons and to 2 future picks with nets would likely be after kd and harden are gone so higher prospects. Simmons can’t shoot and would going to a team that already features a pg that can’t shoot in wall. If kyrie was on table plus picks, rockets would take that and flip kyrie for more assets if he didn’t want to play for them.

          • goastros123

            No, they do not and should not want Kyrie Irving. Not many teams should want Kyrie right now. As bad as Harden is, if you trade for him, there is a better chance he’ll actually want to play vs the chances of Kyrie playing should you trade for Kyrie. After all, the whole Kyrie drama currently revolves around him seemingly not wanting to play.

        • seamaholic

          But the Nets would want something to do with Harden? I’m failing to see why the two cases are at all different. If anything Kyrie is better because he was balling before he left.

  13. El Don

    One can only hope that the day HOU wants to retire Harden’s # he will tell’em to go F U & leave him alone… he must totally black out that most disgraceful of franchises, can’t see any smart star ever again signing for them in FA… they really burnt bridges with players, the way they treated Harden is outrageous & despicable!!!

    • goastros123

      The Rockets treated Harden right, seeing as how every time he asked for help, they sacrificed their future to get him help. Harden had chances to win with Howard, CP3 (his best chance), and Westbrook. It didn’t work. Why? Harden wasn’t willingly to do whatever it took to make it work, including sacrifice, let himself be held accountable, etc.

      • Marty McRae

        Harden refused to play off ball, because he is only concerned with padding stats. If he plays off ball they win more, period.

        NBA fans and media NEEEEED to understand that triple double chasing, stat chasers on LOSING teams, actually forfeit those stats mattering. If you score 80 and your team loses, the fact you were scoring 80 was WHY your team lost, not “you need more help”.

    • Cap & Crunch

      They just had the best value sign in free agency with Christain Wood

      You need help

  14. Cap & Crunch

    James Harden
    Seth Curry
    Danny Green
    Tobias Harris
    Joel Embiid

    Bn- Milton Tucker Scott Ferguson Korkmaz

    I mean on paper if all healthy this could be the squad by next week………..It is intriguing I admit

    • Marty McRae

      Yeah but not even close to a finals contender, that’s a smaller team than the Warriors.

      • Cap & Crunch

        Well, the only other team I got better on paper is Boston in the east and they are even smaller

        Didnt you guys just win multiple titles with small (ish) ball?

        • Marty McRae

          Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Miami are all better on paper, Charlotte might be sneaky good this year too.

      • I give no fox

        They have Dwight Howard and Embiid…they have plenty of size.

  15. LexLegend

    The Sixers will regret trading for Harden. The guy is a talent but his attitude is cancerous for a team with chamionship aspirations. Embiid will get frustrated with him within 2 years. Count in it.

  16. Marty McRae

    Simmons is so much better than Harden and way less of a cancer. Morey doing this while being in Phily is collusion. Phily = your team is being run by a guy who loves the Rockets – why did you hire him again???

  17. jbrown4

    I really can’t imagine Embiid and Harden getting along. This seems to be a mistake by Philly.

  18. Any leverage the Rockets have is the fact that there are 2 teams (apparently) that are real bidders.

    I understand Philly’s interest, as it’s really all about Simmons vs Harden going into the future.

    What could the Nets possibly be thinking? KI, Durant and Harden? Great, sure, but little else and no tradable draft picks for 7 years. All 3 stars can leave after next season – or each will have 35% max deals that take them into their late 30’s. Is that future brighter than what they have now?

    • Curtisrowe

      Yeah, a total disaster for the Nets if they don’t win it all. As for Philly, they already know Embiid and Simmons aren’t bringing it home. Makes way more sense for them.

  19. mattwild1

    Brooklyn needs to stay far far away from this guy… If you’re gonna mortgage the future, at least get Beal. Harden has proven this season that he is a liability to the locker room, and hasn’t been playing very well as is.

  20. formerlyz

    Leave it to Philly to mess it up when they finally figured out how to play

    • El Don

      PHI is playing worst this year than they had in the last 3… so how they have figure it out?
      I mean Embiid is playing good… but Simmons is playing his worst ever so far, as of now PHI hasn’t got the chance to win they had the last 3 years… a lot to improve, just like PHO in the West with Booker playing bad & Ayton awful they stand no chance at the playoffs!

  21. BG99

    Take notice that all talk involving the Sixers is coming from Houston and not anyone in Philly.

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