James Harden trade: 8 players the Houston Rockets could get

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

With James Harden reportedly intent on leaving the Houston Rockets, here are several players the Rockets should set their sights on for him.

The Houston Rockets have gotten off to a 3-5 start in 2020-21, which puts them at the bottom of the Western Conference, as the 13th-best team. Part of the issue for the Rockets has been James Harden‘s inability to adjust and adapt to the offense employed by Stephen Silas, the newly-hired head coach of the Rockets.

Silas ran the offense for the Dallas Mavericks in 2019-20 and led the Mavs to the best offense in NBA history, which isn’t surprising, as his offensive approach is one that involves heavy ball movement, which allows everyone to touch the ball and get into an offensive rhythm. The challenge with utilizing this type of offensive scheme for Harden is that he’s one of the best isolation players in league history, as he specializes in the one-on-one game and beating his defender off the dribble and getting buckets in dozens.

This ability helped Harden become a three-time scoring champion, as he’s simply unguardable in man-to-man defensive schemes, which has almost always led to opposing teams sending multiple defenders, in attempts to prevent him from embarrassing them. But the 2020-21 version of the Rockets has deviated away from the previous regime of Mike D’Antoni, who embraced Harden’s isolation during his four-year run as the Rockets’ head coach.

Silas has made it a focus to shift away from Harden being a ball-stopper, which has led to The Beard posting an average of 11 assists per game, which represents his highest mark since 2016-17, when he averaged 11.2 assists per contest. Harden’s field goal attempts have also dropped to 16.7 attempts per game, which is lower than each of his previous seven seasons.

Harden has made it known that he wants out of the Space City, as he’s previously compiled a list of his top destinations, although the Rockets don’t have to send him to any of his preferred destinations, as there are several teams that aren’t on his list that have interest in the 2017-18 MVP. With Harden struggling to adapt to the Rockets’ offense and the Rockets struggling thus far this season, let’s take a look at many of the players that the Rockets could reel in for the five-time MVP finalist.

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