The New York Knicks‘ quest for a superstar addition this off-season isn’t a secret. They’ve already been connected with big names like Paul George and Joel Embiid. Recently, another surprise player has come into the discussion – James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has reported that Harden, after opting into his $35.6 million option with the 76ers, is actively seeking a trade. Both parties are now probing possible trade deals, with the Knicks emerging as a potential suitor.
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Knicks as a Trade Contender
The Knicks hold considerable value to propose a deal, with assets like future first-round picks and budding players. While other teams may instigate a bidding war for Harden, he also has the power to determine his destination. Rumors suggest the Houston Rockets could be his preferred choice.
Harden’s Impact on the Knicks
Harden, 33, averaged 21 points per game in the past season, boasting an impressive record of 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds. His shooting efficiency stood at .441, with a .385 success rate from the three-point line. He also maintained a .536 effective field goal rate and a .867 free-throw percentage.
Despite a few declining stats, Harden, who played 58 games last season, could serve as a remarkable addition alongside Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle on the Knicks’ starting line-up.
However, acquiring Harden may present a few concerns for the Knicks. Harden’s defensive skills, an essential trait the Knicks seek in their third star, aren’t his strongest suit. This factor is a primary reason why Paul George became an attractive prospect for the Knicks. There’s also a possibility that Harden’s agents are using the Knicks to inflate his market value.
The Bigger Picture
Given the Knicks’ championship aspirations, it’s not surprising they are scouting for any star player available. Though Harden’s defensive skills may pose a challenge, it’s worth noting that he is an elite scorer and would certainly bring significant firepower if acquired.