Like the MeloDrama and the Dwightmare, whatever the James Harden saga gets called seems to go on forever. But ultimately, it will end and it’s likely to end the same way the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard did, with the pursuit ending somewhere other than Brooklyn.
But that it isn’t going to stop anyone from speculating on every possibility. In fact, as Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne wrote Monday, the Rockets acquisition of John Wall has not moved the needle for league’s leading scorer.
The arrival of John Wall has left All-NBA guard James Harden unmoved and uninterested in pursuing a new partnership, and the franchise star continues to push the Houston Rockets for a trade, sources told ESPN.
Over the last few days, there’s been signs that the Rockets and 76ers are the more likely partners in a Harden trade.
Marc Stein tweeted out his thoughts on a Rockets-76ers trade three days ago...
The Rockets insist (for now) they will not trade Harden. The Sixers insist (for now) they will not trade Ben Simmons— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 11, 2020
But sources say the familiarity between the front offices can ultimately defuse any lingering tension from Daryl Morey's departure from Houston to Philadelphia
What would the Rockets want? Philly-based hoops writer Yaron Weitzmann reported this on Monday...
Re: Sixers-Harden negotiations: I'm told the Rockets have asked the Sixers for 3 first round picks in addition to Ben Simmons. As many others have reported, the Sixers so far have been unwilling to include Simmons in any proposals.— Yaron Weitzman (@YaronWeitzman) December 14, 2020
Also Monday, Woj and updated his reporting on the possibility of the Nets getting involved...
For now, the Sixers are unwilling to include All-Stars Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons into trades, and the Rockets are uninterested in a package primarily compromised of the Nets complementary players and draft picks, sources said.
The Nets aren’t interested in trading Kyrie Irving, nor have the Rockets expressed an interest in acquiring him, sources said. For starters, the Nets and Rockets would need to find a more palatable young player on a third team as part of a broader deal, sources said, and there’s no indication that prospect has gained any traction in recent weeks.
Woj didn’t detail who that player would be or anything else about the possibilities. His colleague, Tim Bontemps writes that at least one Western Conference executive as saying that when all is said and done, the Nets may have the best deal.
“I still think [Brooklyn] can put together the best package for him. Maybe someone else can, but theirs is the best one I see.“
The executive was apparently referring to a rumored deal that starts with Caris LeVert and draft picks.
Irving addressed the Harden rumors on the Nets media Zoom call Monday.
“That part of our business is going to be what it is,” Irving said. “There’s no control that we have as players to at least manage what’s being said in terms of rumor mills and what’s being reported. Let’s just leave it at that.
“James is a great player and we wish him well. I just want him to be happy, be secure in who he is a man first, and then as a basketball player, whatever happens in those conversations is between them.”
Irving continued, “but with us, we’re focused on us. I’ve played with so many great players in this league, and we all want to play with each other. We’ve just gotta zero-in on what’s on our floor.”
And after watching Irving rack up 18 points in the first half Sunday, that should suit Nets fans just fine.