Rockets Report: Raptors, Nuggets emerge as suitors for James Harden

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Michael Porter Jr #1 of the Denver Nuggets drives against James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Harden to Nuggets

Windhorst stated that the Denver Nuggets could also emerge as a destination for Harden, as they could form a Big Three of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Harden himself.

“A team like the Denver Nuggets, they made the Conference Finals last year, so you could say ‘hey we’re a good team.’ But do you look at the Denver Nuggets and say they could beat the Lakers four out of seven games? I know they beat the Clippers last year. Do you give them a puncher’s chance to do it again?

Maybe. I don’t think that’s an honest way to look at it. And they have this young, very valuable player in Michael Porter Jr, who alot of teams, including the Rockets are high on. You use that as the centerpiece of a trade and bring in James Harden, and all of a sudden your situation is completely different, if you add him to Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

Now you’ve got a three-headed beast that puts you right there with the two LA teams, in my view.”

The Nuggets would figure to compile a trade of Porter Jr., Gary Harris, and Will Barton, as that would clear the salary of Harden’s $41 million. The Rockets stand to gain from dragging the process out, as more teams will realize they need Harden to be considered a contender, which increases the likelihood that Harden is dealt to a team he doesn’t actually want to go to.

Next. 5 teams that need to trade for Harden

For that reason, we should expect more reports like this to surface throughout the season, or until Harden is actually dealt.