The New York Knicks have been associated with several high-profile names this offseason. Among the most frequently mentioned is the Philadelphia 76ers’ star, James Harden. However, there are several compelling reasons why the Knicks should refrain from pursuing Harden.
Bleacher Report recently suggested New York as a potential destination for the 10-time All-Star. They proposed a lethal scoring combination of Harden and Jalen Brunson to drive a superior offense.
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Harden and Brunson: An Effective Combination?
“Brunson is undersized and is more of a scorer than a facilitator,” stated the article. “Harden would make life easier for Brunson and every other scorer in that Knicks’ lineup.”
At 34, Harden led the league in assists this past season, averaging 10.7 per game. However, his scoring performance has notably diminished from his prime, with an average of just 21 points per game, the lowest since his 2011-12 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. While bringing Harden into the Knicks could theoretically improve their offensive capabilities, the cost of acquiring a player past his prime might adversely affect the Knicks’ future prospects.
Harden’s Future and Financial Implications
The 2018 league MVP is on the brink of becoming an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season. He is reportedly seeking a contract exceeding $40 million in Average Annual Value (AAV) when he enters the market.
Such an astronomical sum for a player who may not consistently deliver the level of production that matches this price tag is a significant concern.
If the Knicks were to trade for Harden this offseason, it would mean losing numerous draft assets and young talents – vital resources for building a future contender. In addition, they would need to negotiate a contract to retain him at a cost they can manage, a challenging task given Harden’s expectations.
Potential Trade Market Opportunities
The Knicks may still make a significant move in the trade market this offseason. However, considering the factors above, James Harden is a player the team should think twice about pursuing.
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