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James Harden’s trade value just changed thanks to Jrue Holiday

Rockets, James Harden

The Houston Rockets might want to thank Jrue Holiday for how teams will have to approach them regarding any potential trades for James Harden.

The cost of trading for a star dramatically increased when the Milwaukee Bucks sent three first-round picks, the rights to two pick swaps, and two good players — Eric Bledsoe and George Hill — to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Jrue Holiday on Monday.

Holiday, 30, is one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball who averaged 19.7 points and 6.7 assists per game on 35.3% three-point shooting in 2019-20. But he’s made one just All-Star team (2013), yet delivered the Pelicans a return package on par with what the Los Angeles Lakers gave up for Anthony Davis.

The Bucks were willing to overpay for Holiday as they attempt to hurriedly surround Giannis Antetokounmpo with a championship-caliber squad and ink the two-time MVP to a supermax extension before Dec. 21.

Regardless of the motives, the steep price tag for Holiday could have ripple effects on the trade market. If New Orleans can pull three first rounders for the veteran guard, what will it cost to acquire 2018 MVP James Harden, who is “singularly focused” on being dealt to the Brooklyn Nets? Five first-round picks? Six?

“How strong is the Nets’ desire to trade for Harden? That’s unknown,” SNY’s Ian Begley wrote on Tuesday. “But the price tag for Harden probably went up…While the situations around Holiday and Harden aren’t the same, the Rockets can certainly make a case that they deserve a large haul based on the Holiday deal.”

‘That deal certainly helps (Houston’s) case,’ an opposing executive said Tuesday.”

Begley says it’s “unclear” whether Brooklyn GM Sean Marks is willing to empty the cabinet of assets for Harden, but certain Nets players seem to think it’s a possibility.

“As of late Monday night, there wasn’t anything imminent between the Rockets and Nets,” Begley wrote. “Some Nets players who could be in the deal had been telling friends on Monday that they were waiting for a resolution on the Harden matter.”

Harden is under contract for two more seasons (plus a player option), so the Rockets can hang onto Harden and hope to drive his price up.

“Houston doesn’t have to trade Harden, who reportedly turned down a $50 million-per-year extension. So this may drag out into the season, which could put the Nets in an awkward situation.

‘Houston holds the cards here, as long as they are willing to stomach everything that comes with an unhappy superstar,’ the opposing exec said.”

Begley notes that there is not universal support for a Harden trade within Nets camp, though pressure from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could be meaningful. On Monday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania said that Houston was not interested in dealing Harden to Brooklyn unless Durant or Irving was included in the return package.

The post James Harden’s trade value just changed thanks to Jrue Holiday appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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