5 trades to land James Harden a co-star on the Houston Rockets

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Six
Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Six / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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4. DeMar DeRozan

It’s clearer than ever that the current Chicago Bulls core isn’t good enough to compete for a championship. And if they look to blow it up, the Houston Rockets should take advantage.

This deal would see the Rockets add two key pieces who could fit well next to James Harden, one acting as a secondary (or primary) scorer and the other leading the charge on defense.

Over the past two seasons, DeMar DeRozan has reemerged as one of the best scorers in the league. In Houston, he could play second fiddle to Harden in that category, or if Harden wants to focus on his playmaking, DeRozan could act as the team’s top scorer, too.

As for Alex Caruso, the All-Defensive First Team guard would take a ton of pressure off of Harden on the defensive side of the court. A backcourt duo of Harden and Caruso would be the perfect pairing.

Chicago would have to throw in two second-round picks because of how valuable the assets Houston would trade are, especially since DeRozan is heading into the last year of his contract.

That being said, this could be the perfect way for the Bulls to kickstart their rebuild. Jalen Green would be a great piece for them to build around, especially since they would also trade Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic in this hypothetical scenario.

Add in the fourth-overall pick in the draft, and the Bulls would be getting a great package to start with.

Potential starting lineups:

Rockets: James Harden, Alex Caruso, DeMar DeRozan, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun

Bulls: Ayo Dosunmu, Jalen Green, Fourth-overall pick, Patrick Williams, Andre Drummond (or replacement center)