With talks ramping up regarding the possibility of the Houston Rockets trading James Harden, the Rockets should set their sights on Bradley Beal, for several reasons.
The Houston Rockets entered the 2020-21 season determined to convince James Harden that their current roster was good enough to contend for a championship, as Harden had requested to be dealt to the Brooklyn Nets, in hopes of increasing his chances of winning a title. What followed was a bit of a public back-and-forth, as Harden’s camp reportedly leaked that he views the franchise as toxic, and dubbed them the “Knicks of the South.”
What followed was information that had been private, regarding Harden’s off-court antics, such as Harden attending private parties during the season, when the Rockets weren’t playing. The Rockets’ stance was that they were “willing to get uncomfortable” as it pertained to the Harden situation, and that’s exactly what happened, as he opted to not show up for Rockets’ training camp, choosing to instead attend a party for trap artist Lil’ Baby, followed by Harden partying in Vegas.
Harden eventually made his way to Rockets’ training camp, and offered an unusual explanation about his relationship with new Houston Rockets general manager Rafael Stone (or lack thereof), stating that he hadn’t had a conversation yet with Stone. Meanwhile, Harden participated in the Rockets’ preseason games, and appeared engaged on the court, but off the court he was still seemingly not invested, as he attended an event for a friend of his, which was in violation of the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol.
Harden has reportedly provided a list of teams that he’d like to be dealt to, but the Rockets aren’t obligated to send him anywhere of his liking, as the focus has to be on what’s best for them and the best replacement the team can get for him. With this being the goal, one place the Rockets should look to deal Harden to is the Washington Wizards, as they have a two-time All-Star in Bradley Beal, who would be the centerpiece of the deal.
The Rockets would be wise to ask for Beal for a number of reasons, which I’ll elaborate upon further. Let’s get started.
Next: No. 3