With the Milwaukee Bucks being one of James Harden’s desired destinations, here are three deals that would allow Milwaukee to pry Harden from the Houston Rockets.
On Monday Houston Rockets fans were given an update on the James Harden front, and the latest news can be viewed as both a positive and a negative, depending on whether you take a glass-half-empty approach or a glass-half-full approach. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that the Rockets believe they can hold on to Harden for the remainder of the season and secure a commitment from Harden from an effort perspective, which brought joy into the hearts of many Rockets fans, who have been clamoring for Harden to buy in to the new regime and new roster for at least this season.
The bad news is that Harden reportedly still wants out, according to O’Connor, which makes one question exactly how much he will buy in to the Rockets this year. On the floor Harden has struggled to adopt Rockets coach Stephen Silas’ offensive philosophy, as Silas runs an offensive scheme that isn’t nearly as isolation-dependent as what Harden has seen in recent years.
Harden’s shot attempts have been down this season, as he’s averaged just 17 shots this season, which is his fewest amount of field goal attempts since 2013-14, which has had a cascading effect on his 3-point shooting, as his long-range attempts are also down to just 9.4 per game, which are fewer than he’s had in each of his last four seasons.
Perhaps the biggest consequence of Harden’s lack of offensive touches has been his lack of free throw attempts, as he’s averaged just 7.9 trips to the charity stripe this season, which are the fewest of his nine-year career with the Houston Rockets. Harden previously compiled a wishlist for Rockets general manager Rafael Stone, which included six teams in total.
One of those teams was the Milwaukee Bucks, who had the best record in the league in each of the last two seasons. The Bucks future to have enough assets to pull off a deal for Harden, as their roster includes two current All-Stars and two former All-Stars, who happen to be All-Defensive selections. With Milwaukee being armed with talent, let’s take a look at three deals they could offer the Rockets for Harden.