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Report: James Harden wants to join Nets for two years, not necessarily longer

As James Harden to the Nets rumors continue to swirl, Michael Smith and Michael Holley differ in their opinions on how "The Beard" fits with Brooklyn.

James Harden reportedly wants the Rockets to trade him to the Nets.

But that doesn’t mean he views Brooklyn as a definite long-term destination.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Harden can become a free agent in 2022 if he opts out of the final year of his contract -- and sources said Brooklyn represents a two-year play to win a title before deciding on the next steps in his career.

For nearly a decade, Harden has defined the Rockets’ identity – for better (15 playoff series in eight years) or worse.

Joining a team that already has Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would be a major adjustment.

It’d be wise of Harden to enter a new situation with eyes wide open. He earned the contractual right to enter 2022 free agency. He doesn’t owe any team anything beyond his contract.

That said, this would put even more pressure on the Nets if they add Harden. They’d have to impress him quickly or risk losing him. Consequently, maybe they should even offer Houston less in a trade as a result.

But that’s their problem. Harden is already putting Brooklyn in a massively advantageous position by angling for a trade there.

If he wants to explore free agency in two years, that’s certainly reasonable.