On ESPN’s First Take, show co-host Max Kellerman spoke on the Rockets potentially trading James Harden this offseason. While initially struggling with the idea, Mr. Kellerman eventually suggested a deal that would send Harden on a one-way trip to Milwaukee for the reigning NBA MVP.
“Let’s say Giannis is available, you trading James Harden? Cause I am.
The best player in the deal, that’s the team that wins the deal — whoever gets the best player. Very hard to find equal value for James Harden in a deal, but I would never say never.”
Giannis to Houston for James Harden to Milwaukee straight up.
Who says no? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/gVo2WJtMZC
— First Take (@FirstTake) October 21, 2020
As an 8x All-Star,7x All-NBA Player, 3x Scoring Champ, and 2018 MVP, trading a player like Harden is obviously a very questionable move, even for a team looking to get themselves out of a gutter.
“You don’t trade James Harden,” said Stephen A. in response to Max. “You don’t move James Harden. If you’re talking about finding a way to pair Giannis with James Harden. But in today’s NBA, when you have a magician on the offensive end like James Harden, you don’t let go.”
Harden has led the Rockets to the playoffs in each of his eight seasons with the team.
This past season, however, was especially disappointing given their poor finish as a result of their two stars not quite being the right fit for each other.
In Giannis, the Rockets would have a 2x MVP and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year — who is still just 25-years-old. With Westbrook joining him, their interior attack would be unstoppable.
While there has been no indication that the Rockets are desperate enough to consider a Harden deal, who is to say that stance wouldn’t change if the right offer came along? It’s hard to get much better than a top-five player in the league.