Brooklyn Nets: Insider all but officially kills hopes of James Harden trade

An NBA insider isn’t convinced that the Brooklyn Nets are going to trade for superstar James Harden.

Following the appointment of Steve Nash as head coach and the subsequent assembling of perhaps the most loaded coaching staff in NBA history, the Brooklyn Nets appeared to be all set in terms of making noteworthy moves during the truncated offseason.

It was always expected that they would re-sign a few players and a make other small-scale additions, but trading for a third star? That never really seemed probable knowing that general manager Sean Marks has been adamant about not wanting to deplete his resources.

However, that all seemed to change once it was revealed that James Harden rejected a lucrative two-year extension from the Houston Rockets and reportedly proceeded to list Brooklyn as his only preferred destination. That buzz predictably sparked heated debates among Nets fans, which has thankfully simmered in recent weeks.

Well, with all seemingly quiet on the Harden front, Brian Lewis of the New York Post appeared on NBA TV to provide some clarity on the situation. To avoid spoiling the video, let’s just say that fans who are behind a trade for the former MVP will find themselves disappointed.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say that they (the Nets) have moved on from the idea of adding Harden, and it’s not dead in the water,” said Lewis. “It’s more floating. In other words, Houston — from what I understand — is not in a rush to move him. I think they accept the fact that’s what going to end up happening. . . They would love to bring as many teams to the table as they can to get the best deal.”

Lewis concluded the segment by acknowledging that he would bet on Harden beginning the 2020-21 season with the Rockets, and his assessment pretty much echoes what the majority of insiders have been reporting over the last couple of weeks. The eight-time All-Star wants to be dealt to Brooklyn, but Houston is more than happy to wait it out and see if any more suitors show interest in him between now and the trade deadline.

The significance of the Rockets employing a new GM also cannot be understated. With such little draft capital set up for the future thanks to dimwitted trades made by the previous regime, he has to ensure he gets the best deal possible, especially considering that Harden and Russell Westbrook likely won’t last with the franchise beyond the upcoming season.

At this point in time, it just seems like the Nets — if they’ve even had discussions with Houston — aren’t meeting their demands, which reportedly includes multiple first-round picks and an assortment of young talent.

With Harden under contract for two more seasons, regardless of the fact that he turned down a new extension, the Rockets hold all the leverage, and the Nets aren’t going to just offer him a first-class ticket to the east coast until their asking price is lowered.

Even then it might not even be enough, so fans in Brooklyn should start preparing for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to be the only two superstars on this team once Dec. 22 rolls around.