After a 2-4 start to the NBA season, the Houston Rockets are 13th in the West and have only won against the Sacramento Kings. Before the season even started, there were multiple reports about James Harden wanting a trade out of Houston. No trade happened during the offseason, and it seems like only a matter of time before Harden gets dealt. 

Philadelphia 76ers

Rockets receive: Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, Shake Milton, 2021 first rounder and a 2025 second rounder

76ers receive: James Harden 

This is the team most linked to James Harden, and with Ben Simmons as the biggest trade chip the 76ers are the likeliest candidate to win the Harden sweepstakes right now. The 76ers have a young star in Simmons and paired with a couple picks and some role players, this might be the best package that the Rockets will receive. There is also the matter that the former Rockets GM Daryl Morey is now with the 76ers, and having his former superstar back could be Morey’s goal. A pairing of Harden and Embiid could be impossible to stop in pick and roll and isolation situations. The Rockets on the other hand have made it clear that they want a deal centered around a young star, and Ben Simmons gives the Rockets one of the better young centerpieces to build their franchise around. The Rockets seem to be retooling for the future, and with Simmons and two young guards the Rockets seem to be heading in the right direction. They also got a couple and picks which should be a boost to the very few picks that Houston has now. This trade would give the Rockets players and picks to build the future, while the 76ers get one of the best scorers in NBA history to pair alongside Embiid. 

Miami Heat

Rockets receive: Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Precious Achiuwa, Andre Iguodala/Myles Leonard, and Kelly Olynyk 

Heat receive: James Harden 

The Miami Heat might be a dark horse in the Harden sweepstakes and there have been a few reports of the Heat being interested in Harden. This would give the Heat an offensive player, and during the Finals it was apparent that there were times that had trouble getting a bucket. Harden would give the Heat a guy that can go get a bucket at will, and paired with a top defense like the Heat’s we could see them repeat a trip to the Finals. The Rockets also get three young players, and a star in Herro that could become a future star. While the other two players that the Rockets would get would be to balance the salary’s, the Rockets could use these veterans to flip for some picks. The Rockets would be getting an emerging star in Herro, as well as Nunn and Achiuwa that still have huge upsides. The Heat would be getting a scoring champion that would raise this team into the top of the East. 

Top Image: Houston Chronicle/Steve Gonzales

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