Houston Rockets: What James Harden to the Nets would look like

James Harden (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
James Harden (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The veteran guards

If the Nets are going to appease the Rockets asking price and have salaries match, they’ll have to include Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert in the deal. While Dinwiddie and LeVert are not James Harden, they together would form a potent backcourt for the Houston Rockets to build around for the foreseeable future. Remember the Houston Rockets traded two first-round picks and two pick swaps to the Oklahoma City Thunder last offseason. If they bottom out they likely won’t reap the rewards.

Dinwiddie is a microwave scorer that can erupt for a 40-point game on any given night. He’s very reminiscent of James Harden, just about 75% as good. That being said, being three-fourths the player that James Harden is means you’re still a really good player.

Dinwiddie is coming off a season where he averaged 20.6 points in only 31.2 minutes a game. If used as a starter he’ll be able to keep the Rockets offense afloat or he could be used off the bench where he’d instantly become a front runner for the Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Under contract next season for $11.4 million, Dinwiddie has a $12.3 million player option for 2021-22. At only 27-years-old the Rockets could look to extend him or let him walk, as they try to get their salary-cap situation under control.

The one constant in Caris LeVert’s career is improvement. Each season he was at Michigan he improved his points per game and that trend has followed him throughout his NBA career. LeVert’s constant growth earned him a three year $52.5 million dollar extension from the Nets, which is set to kick in this season. $17.5 million a season is a relative pittance in today’s NBA, especially for a player as talented as LeVert.

The Nets would also need to include LeVert to match salaries and the Rockets should covet a player like LeVert, who has only shown improvement throughout their NBA career. After averaging 18.7 points a game, any improvement would push LeVert into the All-Star discussion.

While the Nets would be departing with two high-quality players in Dinwiddie and LeVert, they would be acquiring, arguably, the best player in the league, which means the Houston Rockets won’t stop asking for more.

Next: Salary and picks