Rockets: 3 deals to trade James Harden to the Bucks

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Houston Rockets
Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat is defended by Jrue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

3. Houston Rockets receive Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, draft picks

In this trade proposal the Rockets would get back their maximum amount of draft capital in addition to a proven star player and another big, which is also a need. You likely already know about the Rockets’ lack of draft picks, due in large part to the Russell Westbrook trade, which will cost the Rockets for years to come.

The Bucks don’t have their full arsenal of picks either, as they sent three first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for Jrue Holiday, leaving them in control of only two of their original first-round picks in the next seven drafts. Those two picks are their 2021 first-round pick and their 2023 first-round pick, which would both be included in this deal.

The Rockets would also get back Holiday, which could get tricky, as the Bucks recently acquired him, as previously mentioned. This would mean that the Rockets couldn’t complete this trade until February 26th, which is when Holiday’s trade restriction will be lifted.

The deal would only make sense for the Rockets if they receive confirmation from Holiday’s camp that he will opt in to the 2021-22 season, which is set to pay him $26 million. Oftentimes players at Holiday’s age and tenure level exercise their player option to land a long-term deal, which would figure to be his last major deal.

Assuming Holiday agrees to opt in to next season, the Rockets would receive a player who has been named All-Defense in two of the last three seasons and is a proven scorer and/or facilitator, which would make for an elite defensive backcourt, alongside John Wall. Aside from Holiday, the Rockets would also receive Brook Lopez, who also made the All-Defensive team in 2019-20, in addition to posting a 3-point percentage of 36 percent in two of the last three seasons.

Lopez’s All-Star days are well past him but the Rockets could certainly use his skillset, as Christian Wood isn’t a legitimate center, due to his thin frame, and DeMarcus Cousins can’t be relied upon to be a starting center every night, and especially with the beef the NBA officials have with him, which has led to several unwarranted elections this season.

Milwaukee has alot more to offer for a player of James Harden’s magnitude, so this likely wouldn’t be enough to get the deal done, but it would become more enticing depending on what Holiday decides to do about his contract.

Next: No. 2