James Harden
(Neil Redmond/AP)

The NBA trade market opened back up earlier today, and there have already been plenty of rumors about stars who could be on the move. One of the names coming up repeatedly is Houston Rockets guard James Harden.

After the departures of head coach Mike D’Antoni and GM Daryl Morey, the Rockets’ future became uncertain. This led to Russell Westbrook requesting to be moved. James Harden also reportedly would be interested in being traded elsewhere. The Brooklyn Nets appear to be his preferred destination.

Getting Harden to join forces with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving certainly sounds appealing. Many have already tabbed them as championship favorites. But would this even work out for Brooklyn?

On the surface, the Nets would be adding a superstar and former NBA MVP. What’s not to like about that? Well, a couple of things.

James Harden to Brooklyn is a Bad Idea

For one, adding a ball-dominant player like James Harden to two other ball-dominant stars like Durant and Irving creates a big potential for problems. Someone isn’t going to like the touches they’re getting, and that tends to make star players disgruntled.

Secondly, the price required to land Harden in a trade would be massive. Brooklyn would certainly be required to let go of major depth pieces, and they have potentially discussed doing so already. Some of the players that could be leaving the Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince, and Jarrett Allen.

Yeah, James Harden is really good. But is he worth an entire bench unit? Three superstars on one team is huge, but not when they share a court with six G-League players.

The only situation where I can see a trade working out for the Nets is if they got rid of Irving to bring in Harden. Like it or not, Harden is an upgrade over Irving, and that would lessen the need to deplete the rest of the lineup. I don’t see the Nets ever considering this, but it would be the best option to keep the team in contention. Irving is a great ceiling-raiser, but he’s also a major floor-dropper. If things start to go south, he will start some drama.

All indications thus far are that Harden will be moved out of Houston. Brooklyn is at the top of his list, but he could very well wind up elsewhere. Philadelphia and Miami come to mind as potential landing spots. With the NBA Draft and free agency looming, expect things to be made much more clear in the coming days.


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