The trade rumors surrounding James Harden have been alive and well over the past few weeks. With the Rockets dealing Russell Westbrook to the Wizards for John Wall and a first-round pick, many were wondering if the move was enough to keep Harden happy in Houston. Seeing as how he was spotted at a strip club partying in Vegas while Houston was starting to get practices underway, you can really see why there’s concern that Harden wants out of Houston.
Harden did eventually report to Houston for practice but is awaiting a number of negative tests to return before taking the court with his teammates. While all of this has been taking place, a list of at least five ‘preferred destinations’ has been floating around.
According to New York Times NBA writer Marc Stein, the 76ers are the most likely landing spot for Harden whenever the organization reaches that point in which it’s ready to trade him. The Rockets would want Ben Simmons to be a part of the deal, but as of right now things are relatively cool on that front, Stein notes.
The Rockets insist (for now) they will not trade Harden. The Sixers insist (for now) they will not trade Ben Simmons
But sources say the familiarity between the front offices can ultimately defuse any lingering tension from Daryl Morey's departure from Houston to Philadelphia
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 11, 2020
Another team mentioned among potential landing spots for Harden is Brooklyn where he could rejoin his old teammate Kevin Durant. Houston likely wouldn’t make the move unless Kyrie Irving or Durant were involved and seeing as how the Rockets just dealt for Wall and the Nets certainly aren’t going to deal Durant, Harden to Brooklyn seems like a pipedream at this point.