The Brooklyn Nets have emerged as the preferred top destination for Houston Rocketsâ€™ superstar James Harden, per ESPNâ€™s Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne, and Zach Lowe.
ESPN Sources with @RamonaShelburne and @ZachLowe_NBA: As Houstonâ€™s James Harden considers his future with franchise, one possible trade destination is rising to top of his list: Brooklyn. The idea of reuniting with Kevin Durant and joining Kyrie Irving is resonating with Harden.â€” Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 15, 2020
However, the Nets and the Rockets have yet to engage in a trade discussion as everything has been player-driven so far.
Harden and Durant reportedly have talked about a possible reunion as the Rocketsâ€™ superstar is mulling over his future in Houston. But Ian Begley of SNY also reported that not all the Nets players contacted are receptive to the idea of trading for Harden.
Hardenâ€™s future with the Rockets alongside Russell Westbrook came into question earlier this week on the heels of the sweeping changes in the organization.
Mike Dâ€™Antoni and Daryl Morey, the two architects of the small-ball Rockets featuring Harden, have left the team following their Western Conference semifinals defeat at the hands of the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Morey has since joined the Philadelphia 76ers as team president while Dâ€™Antoni accepted an assistant coaching role under his former player and first-time coach Steve Nash, in Brooklyn.
The Rockets have maintained that they intend to contend with Harden. But things could quickly escalate if Harden would demand a trade.
The 31-year old Harden has led the Rockets to the active longest playoff streak — eight seasons in a row — since he was acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he was the third star to the Durant-Westbrook tandem.
The Nets have the ability trade for Harden with a chest of young assets (Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jarrett Allen) and draft capital (they own all their first-round picks starting next season). Harden is owed $131.5 million over the next three seasons, including a $46.9 million player option in 2022-23.
Westbrook, meanwhile, has been linked to several trade rumors, including the Netsâ€™ crosstown rival New York Knicks, but nothing is imminent at this point.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo