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
Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks is defended by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets players to target in James Harden trade: 3. Khris Middleton

Khris Middleton is one of the best two-way players in the league, and has seen his value go up in recent years, so much that many consider him to be a top 10 player in the league, depending on who you ask (mainly Bleacher Report). Middleton has ranked inside of the top-20 in defensive win shares in each of the last two seasons and has finished within the top-20 in steals in three years out of his nine-year career.

The two-time All-Star posted averages of 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 2019-20, while making 41.5 percent of his threes, which was 11th in the league. Middleton entered elite territory, as he made 50 percent of his field goals, 40+ percent of his threes, and 91.6 percent of his free throws.

Middleton also ranked 12th in defensive rating in the same season, which provides further proof of his ability as a two-way player. The Texas A&M product has gotten off to an even better start in 2020-21, as he’s averaged 22.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists, while making 50.9 percent of his threes, 55.6 percent of his shots, and 96.8 percent of his free throws, which are all career-highs for the nine-year veteran.

Milwaukee made Harden’s list of potential destinations and any deal between the Bucks and the Houston Rockets figures to center around Middleton, as the Rockets have made it known that they are looking for a star in return for Harden. Middleton’s star power will be enough for Milwaukee to craft a deal for Harden, not to mention the other assets they could also include.

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