Hanging over all of this is Harden’s future. Nobody is talking about this yet, but Harden can become a free agent at the end of 2021-22. Paired with an aging, asset-free roster and an owner unwilling to spend on better help, when does he start looking at greener pastures? And if the Rockets are stuck with a dim future roster-wise, isn’t cashing in their Harden stock about the only way out?
February 5, 2023 | 5:35 pm EST Update
February 5, 2023 | 5:25 pm EST Update
Multiple people familiar with the Mavericks’ pre-Irving approach highlighted Tim Hardaway Jr. as a player the team would like to move. Though a strong offensive contributor when in a shooting rhythm, Hardaway’s contract is viewed as a long-term investment that doesn’t justify his streaky production while limits the Mavericks’ future financial flexibility.
The front office is not finished exploring trade options to further reshape and upgrade the roster around 23-year-old franchise cornerstone Luka Doncic, a person familiar with the Mavericks’ thinking said less than an hour after the Irving trade.
Teams have been far more interested in trading for Durant than they have had interest in Irving. The phone lines are hot in Brooklyn, where every team will make its best offer to poach the NBA’s 14th leading scorer in all-time history. Yet whether or not Durant wants to remain in Brooklyn with Irving — the only other star on the roster — out of town is unclear. Ben Simmons has missed the last four games with left knee soreness, but sources familiar with Durant’s thinking tell the Daily News the star forward has been less than enthralled with Simmons, who is averaging just 7.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and six assists per game on a max contract in Brooklyn.