James Harden’s days of playing for the Houston Rockets could be coming to an end soon, but the Rockets front office has the power to decide whether or not his departure will be in the near future or at a later date.
The front office, coaching staff, and the roster were all remade over the offseason. The Rockets’ newly appointed general manager, Rafael Stone, had his work cut out for him as he ushered in a new era.
Following the team’s exit in the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 playoffs, the franchise has had to weather the departure of head coach Mike Dantoni, the resignation announcement of general manager Daryl Morey, and the looming trade of James Harden. However, Stone, Morey’s replacement, has been able to handle the media circus surprisingly well as he seeks to gain maximum value for their frustrated superstar.
Many of the league’s best teams, such as the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Denver Nuggets, have inquired about Harden’s availability. However, the package the Houston Rockets are looking for hasn’t presented itself yet.
The Rockets have expressed their desire to receive a young star player along with a treasure trove of draft picks in any Harden trade. While the trade market for Harden looking bleak prior to the start of the regular season, the outlook can change rather quickly once the games begin to count.
The Rockets want the motherload in return for Harden but they are acutely aware of the factors that can build up, or destroy his value around the league. Here are the three biggest factors that will affect Harden’s trade value as the season plays out.
Next: Factor No. 3