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5 ideal trade destinations for Rockets star James Harden if he ultimately requests out

James Harden, James Harden trade

Wednesday morning’s report about James Harden and Russell Westbrook having concern about the direction of the Houston Rockets set off alarm bells regarding the possibility of trade requests. Sure enough, Wednesday night brought the bomb of a Westbrook request, and the assumption was that Harden would be right behind him. There were even rumblings of a potential Harden trade wishlist at one point.

Instead, Harden is apparently committed to the Rockets for the 2020-21 season. Still, with so much turmoil surrounding this franchise in the wake of the departures of Mike D’Antoni, Daryl Morey and now evidently Westbrook next, one has to wonder just how long Harden will stick around.

If The Beard decides to change his mind and ultimately request a trade in the near future, here are five top destinations for him.

5. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks know very well that their time with their prized two-time MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo may be coming to an end soon. Milwaukee’s disappointing playoff exits the last two seasons after finishing with the best record in the NBA both years have them desperate for an upgrade, so why not make a bold play for Harden?

Now, it’s true that Harden and Giannis have had beef in recent years thanks to their MVP battles. Perhaps Harden would truly have no interest in joining forces with his rival. But a Harden-Giannis team-up would be pretty devastating and could help each player finally get over the hump and win a title, which could result in Antetokounmpo sticking around for the long haul.

4. Philadelphia 76ers

The Rockets have been linked to being trade partners with the Sixers since the hiring of Daryl Morey as the new president of basketball operations in Philly. Morey and James Harden built a special bond in Houston, so it would only be natural for them to want to build on that relationship elsewhere. The Sixers were one of the team’s on Harden’s alleged wishlist.

The Rockets might not want to do Harden business with Morey, but they could get a star back in return in the form of either Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid. The assumption is the Sixers would prefer to pair Harden with Embiid to form a dominant inside-outside duo.

3. Miami Heat

The Heat are another team supposedly on James Harden’s radar, which makes sense given the, ahem, off-the-court benefits. In all seriousness, that #HeatCulture could be perfect for Harden at this point in his career to help him get serious about winning a championship.

Miami has a no-nonsense star in place in Jimmy Butler. While Butler and Harden could butt heads, perhaps Jimmy is exactly what The Beard needs. The Heat also boast terrific young talent, though players like Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro would likely be going to Houston in a Harden trade.

2. Brooklyn Nets

Yet another team on James Harden’s supposed wishlist, if the Nets were somehow able to pull off a trade, the remaining teams in the East may as well hand over the crown now. The duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant may already prove to be more than enough talent in the Eastern Conference. That talent almost becomes unfair with Harden in the mix, which would reunite him with KD.

There have been sightings of Durant working out and looking much like his old self, which is a sigh of relief to a Nets front office banking on his recovery. If Irving is able to return from his shoulder surgery as well in good health, things could get ugly for the rest of the league. There would be concerns about the massive egos and all three stars needing the ball, but that amount of talent would be immense.

1. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers could solve a lot of their problems if they were able to somehow grab James Harden from the Rockets. He’s a formidable scorer who could work well in the backcourt and relieve pressure off Kawhi Leonard on any night. Whether or not Paul George would be included in such a trade remains to be seen, but Harden could more than make up for his absence.

One of the Clippers’ biggest problems was the lack of a legitimate point guard to help run the show. While Leonard and George are both star players and have improved their playmaking ability over the years, their flaws in that area of the game were evident during LA’s epic playoff collapse. Harden would solve that troublesome issue while also bringing his elite scoring exploits to the table.

The post 5 ideal trade destinations for Rockets star James Harden if he ultimately requests out appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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