James Harden considers the Brooklyn Nets to be “rising to the top of his list” of trade destinations should the Houston Rockets decide to deal him this offseason, ESPN reported Sunday.
The Rockets have Harden under contract for two more seasons, but trade rumors have swirled ever since Houston was knocked out of the playoffs in the conference semifinals for the third time in four years. Harden was teammates with D.C.-area native Kevin Durant when they played together on the Oklahoma City Thunder, so the idea of a reunion isn’t far-fetched.
It would certainly shake up the Eastern Conference even more than it already is and make life more difficult for teams like the Wizards just hoping to sneak into a playoff spot with John Wall coming back from his torn Achilles tendon.
However, there are still plenty of logistics standing in the way of a Brooklyn-Houston move. The Rockets aren’t reportedly sold on the idea of dealing Harden and fellow guard Russell Westbrook has already requested a trade himself. Both Harden and Westbrook are rumored to be concerned with the organization’s future after head coach Mike D’Antoni and GM Daryl Morey were let go earlier this offseason.
Then there are the Nets, who have a young core around Irving and Durant that they may not want to give up for Harden. According to ESPN, no trade discussions have taken place and Brooklyn is still “considering the viability” of completing such a deal.
The NBA’s moratorium on trading is set to be lifted at noon ET on Monday.