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3 reasons trading James Harden would be the Rockets’ biggest mistake

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 20: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets looks on during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 20, 2020 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 20: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets looks on during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 20, 2020 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
James Harden Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

1. It’s easier to build around Harden than to replace him

Before Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets the team was in a constant loop of mediocrity, as they weren’t good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to be at the top of the draft.

This went on for several years until the Rockets traded for Harden. If the Rockets were to trade Harden for draft picks and lower level players, it could easily place them back at the same level of mediocrity for years to come.

Harden has never missed the playoffs and has finished within the top-three of the MVP award for several years since coming to the Rockets. With minimum contracts and veteran players more being cut at unprecedented levels, it’s easy to find great value by signing multiple players who started on other teams earlier in the season.

Exhibit A is Jeff Green, who no one wanted, but turned out to be one of the most important players for the Houston Rockets after being signed midseason.  This is yet another reason why trading a MVP and once-in-a-generation player is a huge mistake.

It’s simply better to continue to build around players like Harden, as opposed to trading him and rebuilding. 90 percent of the GM’s in the league spend every year looking for a player like Harden, who can change the entire future of an organization, as he is a top-five player and a guaranteed All-Star annually.

Next. 10 players the Rockets could add with the MLE

Some teams never find that type of player, and the Rockets have one in Harden, who is still in his prime.  For that reason, the Rockets should do whatever they can to win with a marquee player such as Harden, because we may never find another player like him.

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