MacMahon then provided a huge caveat. In his mind, it is very much possible that Harden’s tenure in Houston comes to an end in the near future. However, this would be Harden spearheading the move and not the Rockets: “I think at this point it’s probably a year to year deal. If I’m speculating, I’m going to say that decision is more than likely made by James Harden instead of made by the Rockets. In other words, it could get to a point… And I don’t believe this is imminent. Again, I think it’s a year-to-year situation where at some point James Harden, who has tried repeatedly to pair with a superstar to give him a chance to a championship: first Dwight [Howard], then Chris Paul and now with Russ. If James Harden wants to pair with another superstar, he’s probably going to have to be the one to pack his bags. Is that next offseason? Is that the offseason after that? We’ll see. Obviously a lot of that depends on what happens with the Rockets over these next one or two years.”
John Clark: I’m hearing one of the reasons along with coaching that Sixers have a lot of interest in Mike D’Antoni is feeling with some in organization that he could help lure James Harden to Philly. Harden can become a free agent in 2 years and there is possibility of trade.
James Harden has been heavily criticized throughout his career for his playoff underperformance, but he's also a consistent MVP candidate who is solely responsible for the team being in position to contend every year. Would the Rockets actually consider moving on from Harden? "I wouldn't put it past [Daryl Morey] to consider moving James Harden," NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh told NBC Sports Bay Area. "Do I think it is going to happen? I would not bet on it." "Daryl Morey is as transactional as any GM we have seen in the NBA," Haberstroh continued, "so I think this team that you see right now for Houston, is probably not going to be the team next season."
That's probably a step further than the Rockets are willing to go. Harden keeps the Rockets on national television and in the playoffs. Several teams believe Westbrook is available, but they've received no indication from Houston that Harden is anything but untouchable. "Everything should be on the table, including moving Harden," said the second Eastern Conference executive.
“I wouldn’t move Harden,” one Eastern Conference general managertold HoopsHype. “He’s still so good, and they’re too old right now to just start a rebuild unless you’re getting a Jayson Tatum or Luka Doncic to rebuild around. I’d probably run it back in some shape or form, especially with next year being a compressed time period. I would keep all options open, but I wouldn’t be selling Harden just to the highest bidder. In the last two years, they easily could have won it all, so I don’t think it’s fair to panic yet if they lose. Now, if there’s a great deal out there, that’s a different story, but I still think it’s worth riding out one more year. If Westbrook is tradable, get it done.”
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?
November 25, 2020 | 11:09 am EST Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Boston and Charlotte have worked on a sign-and-trade for Gordon Hayward that would land Celtics a trade exception, but Hornets have first been trying to find a third team for Nic Batum’s $27M contract to see if there’s a way to avoid waiving-and-stretching his money.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Damyean (DAME-ee-an) Dotson to a multi-year contract, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Dotson (6-5, 205) appeared in 48 games for the New York Knicks last season, averaging 6.7 points and 1.9 rebounds in 17.4 minutes. He also shot .362 from three-point range and reached double figure scoring on 13 occasions, including a season-high 21 points (7-10 FG, 4-7 3FG) against Toronto on January 24th. In his first three NBA seasons, all with the Knicks, Dotson appeared in 165 games (42 starts) with career averages of 7.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.1 minutes.
November 25, 2020 | 10:47 am EST Update
The Los Angeles Clippers have waived Justin Patton. Patton was included in the Clippers’ three-team trade for Luke Kennard.
With training camp approaching, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo still has not decided on his supermax extension offer. As of now, that contract is worth a projected $228.2 million, at a minimum, over five years. The deal would keep Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee through 2026. “That’s a lot of money to leave on the table!” one general manager told HoopsHype.