NBA analyst explains why Rockets may not get desired package for James Harden

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

With the Houston Rockets’ trade demands for James Harden not being met thus far, many are wondering whether the Rockets will get their desired asking price.

When James Harden requested a trade from the Houston Rockets, his initial desire was to be dealt to the Brooklyn Nets, where he envisioned a super trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and himself. The Rockets have made it clear that they want to keep Harden, as their current roster could easily be the best one Harden has been on during his eight-year run with the franchise.

Rockets general manager Rafael Stone has requested a young franchise cornerstone, in addition to a boatload of draft picks, to replenish the monsoon of picks that have been sent away by former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over the years. Such a request automatically ruled out the Nets, as they don’t have the franchise cornerstone, unless they were to include Durant or Irving.

Harden’s trade value would seem to have risen due to the deal that was made for Jrue Holiday, which sent three first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans. In addition, Holiday’s new Milwaukee Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo’s long-term contract extension would also seem to have raised Harden’s value, as he figures to be the only superstar available on the market.

But the Rockets have found it difficult to reel in their desired asking price for Harden, as the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, and Bucks have either dropped out of the running or reportedly were turned off by Harden, which begs the question of exactly what Harden’s market is and what the Rockets can realistically expect to get back in return for his services.

Sirius XM’s NBA analyst Justin Termine provided a glimpse of why the Rockets may not get their desired asking price for Harden on Sirius radio’s NBA Today.

Analyst says why Houston Rockets may not get asking price for Harden

“Forget what he’s doing to his image and how it looks to the fanbase and for the league. Would you even want him in your locker room?

You can’t get along with teammates, you’ve shown that with Paul and Westbrook, apparently a little bit, and Dwight Howard. He’s a major minus defensively, he isn’t easy to play with, he dominates the ball, he obviously needs special treatment, he has a horrible history in the postseason.

You’re an NBA player, why would you want him in your locker room right now?”

Termine has made it clear that he believes the Rockets deserve blame for Harden’s behavior and histrionics, as he’s stated that this is due to the enabling and empowerment of The Beard by the Houston Rockets franchise.

The Rockets will almost certainly have to turn to Morey in order to get back their superstar, as his 76ers possess Ben Simmons, who is only 24-years-old and was both an All-NBA player and All-Defensive performer in 2019-20. Simmons remains under contract through 2025 and Morey is known to de-value draft picks, as stated above.

The latest reports regarding the Rockets and Sixers is that the Sixers aren’t willing to part with Simmons, as Morey publicly stated, after reports surfaced suggesting otherwise. Rockets fans know all too well that when Morey says he isn’t open to trading a player that it almost always means the exact opposite, as referenced by his public statement regarding Chris Paul in 2019, who was eventually dealt.

We should expect a bevy of reports that suggest that Harden still wants out, and Shams Charania of The Athletic wrote an article suggesting that Harden has gone full Jimmy Butler mode and had heated exchanges with teammates in training camp.

Next. Ranking the 3 Rockets most likely to get traded

By Termine’s logic, if Harden continues this behavior, the Rockets may be forced to keep him, which isn’t exactly a bad resolution, so long as he’s engaged.