The Houston Rockets had a frustrating end to their season as they failed to proceed past the second round of the playoffs. Their commitment to small ball and spacing fell flat, as the Los Angeles Lakers beat them down in 5 games. Now, the Rockets entire future is in complete doubt. The Rockets hired new coach Stephen Silas to replace Mike D'Antoni and also Rafael Stone to replace general manager Daryl Morey. There are even reports that Russell Westbrook wants out of Houston, and is not sold on the Rockets change of management. Things aren't looking that chirpy in Houston at the moment.
In the same conference, the Golden State Warriors are looking to get back to their best basketball when both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson return from their injury layoff. They have a valuable No. 2 overall pick in their paws and will be looking to add a third superstar just like they did when they acquired Kevin Durant. By throwing all the chips on the table and going for a second Dynasty, the Warriors can create the most unstoppable offensive team in history.
In the biggest blockbuster deal of the decade, here is the trade package that will send James Harden to the Golden State Warriors for the No. 2 overall pick.
Trade Package: Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, Kevon Looney, 2020 No. 2 overall pick for James Harden
James Harden Will Make the Warriors The Greatest Offensive Team Ever
The Golden State Warriors are in win-now mode after Curry and Klay are back in action. Even without Kevin Durant making them unstoppable anymore, they have the Big Three that won them a chip in 2015. They have the two best shooters in the NBA who both effectively changed the NBA game, and defensive specialist Draymond Green returning to his leadership role on the team. With the No. 2 overall pick in their grasp, Golden State has unlimited possibilities to create a Big 4 once again.
The best way to add a superstar is by targeting one of the 5 best players in the league at any given moment. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both clearly untouchable, and the Bucks have no reason to rush into any Giannis trade so far. Kawhi Leonard is the man in Los Angeles and has no reason to leave. That leaves the greatest scorer in the game today, James Harden.
Harden was incredible all year long, averaging 34.3 PPG and 7.5 APG while leading Houston to the 4th seed in the West. Harden's isolation scoring is undoubtedly great and teams are throwing 3 defenders on him at any given time. Imagine if Harden has Curry and Klay to pass to for open threes instead of Eric Gordon and Robert Covington? The Rockets have decent shooters on the wing but no player compares to Curry and Klay which makes the Warriors offense possibly the best ever with The Beard. The Warriors can still employ their ball-sharing gameplan but when it breaks down, they can have the luxury of a James Harden isolation.
Harden allows the Warriors to just play their game as normal except he will take most of the pressure as the flashiest and most criticized player. Harden wants to win at least one NBA title in his career, and his best bet will be with the Golden State Warriors. Curry and Klay are both entering their 30's, so Golden State should give up their future to win 1-2 more rings right now and solidify their standing as one of the best franchises ever.
Houston Rockets Start Over With A Massive Rebuild
While the Rockets do not need to trade James Harden immediately, he might not be too happy right now. Houston has had great years with Harden as their franchise player, but they only managed to reach the Western Conference Finals. At the same time, Harden is too good to not be playing in an NBA Finals. The Rockets came close many times, but they lacked enough support around Harden each time. Houston tried with Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and then Russell Westbrook but it never quite worked out. Howard and Westbrook didn't fit in Harden's heavy-isolation offense while Chris Paul couldn't stay healthy.
By sacrificing their franchise player in James Harden, who is turning 32 years of age soon, Houston can begin a massive rebuild plan around the coveted No. 2 overall pick. With this pick, the Rockets can draft a young man in his early 20's with exceptional talent which includes the likes of James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball, and Anthony Edwards. Each of these 3 young stars could possibly be franchise players for the foreseeable future without a doubt. The Rockets gave away almost all their future assets to go all-in with Russell Westbrook and James Harden, and have a chance to make amends for that.
Luckily, the Rockets can also get some decent return on the court this season as well. Andrew Wiggins is also a nice wing player who can play both ends, while Eric Paschall had a strong season this year. Looney adds size and rebounding which is sorely missing in the Rockets front-court. Houston has plenty of options when it comes to their team because they are lucky enough to have a top-5 player and arguably the greatest isolation scorer of all time. They can continue with Harden leading the charge, or commit to changing the squad by adding a young star with unlimited potential such as James Wiseman.
While it is against the Rockets' "way" to make a Western Conference rival a much better team, they have a pick that could immediately begin a massive rebuild. It could very well be time for Houston to move on from Russell Westbrook and James Harden, acquire massive amounts of future picks, and begin planning for life away from Western Conference contention for a while.