With the NBA trade deadline on the horizon, the Brooklyn Nets have three weeks left to either make a move or remain the same. Brooklyn has thrown a couple of key names out on the trade market, but those players don’t hold the same amount of value as James Harden.
Harden didn’t sign a contract extension with the Nets before the Oct. 18 deadline, but afterward, he said, “I don’t plan on leaving this organization and the situation that we have.”
Kevin Durant signed a four-year, $198 million extension last August, and although Sean Marks was “confident” that Kyrie Irving would sign an extension with Brooklyn, the alleged four-year, $187 million offer was rescinded.
As of right now, out of the team’s Big Three, only Durant has made an extended commitment.
Harden’s future with the Nets is uncertain. Daryl Morey and Philadelphia made a push to trade for the then six-time All-Star before he was dealt to Brooklyn a year ago, and there’s still a chance that Harden could join the Sixers this summer.
Should the Brooklyn Nets trade James Harden ahead of the Feb. 10 deadline?
The short answer is no.
Harden has a player option for 2022-23 and if he declines the $47.4 million option, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. That wouldn’t be as bad as it sounds because it would open up the possibility for him to sign a five-year, $269.9 million deal with the Nets.
Of course, that’s what fans and the organization wants to happen.
However, if he decides that he doesn’t want to stay in Brooklyn, his next move would likely lead him to the City of Brotherly Love. His connection with Morey, Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations, dates back to their time together in Houston.
If it were to happen, it would likely take place via a sign-and-trade involving Ben Simmons. While the drama surrounding Simmons has simmered down a bit, the chances of the 2016 No. 1 draft pick being dealt within the next three weeks are slim.
Sport Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported that the Sixers aren’t lowering their asking price for Simmons even with the deadline looming. Philadelphia’s not looking for role players, but for players that will help the team become a championship contender.
And according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Sixers are holding out for players like Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jaylen Brown, or Harden, whether it be before the deadline or during the offseason.
If Simmons isn’t traded, that means that a sign-and-trade deal with Harden would become more probable.
However, regardless of Irving’s future beyond the final year of his contract next season, it’d be hard to envision Harden leaving Durant and the Nets. Yet that seems to be what Philadelphia’s hoping for.
Will Morey and the Sixers be able to convince Harden to make the short move to Philadelphia?