3. James Harden
Cost: Victor Oladipo, Jock Landale, Reggie Bullock, 2024 First-Round Pick (via BKN)
Yes, I know. James Harden would already be playing for the Rockets if Ime Udoka wanted him on the team.
Udoka, who previously coached Harden, reportedly met with The Beard in the summer and decided against the move, after Harden reportedly expressed his desire to return to the unguardable isolation scorer of yesteryear (depending on who and what you believe).
Harden went on the record and denied this (although he likely wouldn't have admitted it even if it was true). Regardless, Harden's play this season should erase doubt about him being unable and/or unwilling to be a table-setter and secondary scoring option.
In fact, Uno has been the LA Clippers' third-leading scorer (17.1 points), despite taking the second-least amount of shots among starters (11.3 shots). Harden has been an elite facilitator (8.6 assists and 2.6 turnovers) and could play the shooting guard position for the Rockets.
Yes, you read that right.
I know the talk has been centered around Fred VanVleet or James Harden, but the two could play together. Jalen Green could play the Sixth Man or Udoka could trot out a three-guard lineup.