Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: December 16, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Just about every professional sports off season can hectic. There are trade rumors, who’ signing with who and other things that are happening. Now since the NBA is a players run league the off season can really be insane and even though this off season was shorter than ever before it didn’t and hasn’t stopped things from being out of control.

Of course the biggest thing right now is that James Harden wants out of Houston and it appears he’s only interested in being traded to either the Brooklyn Nets or the Philadelphia 76ers. Since Harden has a couple of years left on his contract the Rockets are being smart and aren’t going to just give Harden away to meet his demands. Houston has said that they want a young player to build around and a lot of draft picks for Harden. Now with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons on their roster the 76ers have that young player that Houston would want in return for Harden, but do the Nets? Obviously we’re not going to see Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving going to Houston in a deal for Harden, but is a player like Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen or Spencer Dinwiddie enough of a trade piece for the Rockets to send Harden to Brooklyn?

LeVert is 26 years old and had what could be considered his best season in the shortened bubble season. Dinwiddie is 27 years old and is also coming off what appears to be his best season. He averaged 20.6 points per game last season and while that’s a career high it’s not quite the level of Harden’s scoring. Allen is the youngest of the three as he’s soon to be 23 years old, but he’s a big man and if the Rockets play the style of offense they did the last coupe of seasons he won’t really fit into the scheme very well.

I do wonder if the Nets where willing to part with all three of these players and a couple of draft picks if that might be enough to get a deal done for Harden.

A Harden to Philadelphia trade seems like it would be much easier to work out, but remember when this first started the only team Harden was willing to be traded to was the Nets; so you have to think he has his heart set on going their.

This off season the 76ers did make a coaching change as they brought in Doc Rivers who was fired by the Los Angeles Clippers after a disappointing 2019-2020 season, but don’t forget that Philadelphia also made another off season hire. The 76ers brought in Daryl Morey who was the general manager of the Rockets from 2007 until he announced his departure in October of this year. Morey signed on with the 76ers as the President of Basketball Operations November 2nd 2020.

Morey is the one who came up with the “small ball” style the Rockets have employed the last couple of seasons and Morey was also the one who made the trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder to acquire Harden. There hasn’t been much made of the relationship between Harden and Morey, but there also hasn’t been any reports of any negatives between the two. With Morey now in Philadelphia is it possible that Harden could wind up in a 76ers uniform when this is all said and done.

Now if Harden was to end up going to Philadelphia in a deal the question would be would it be Simmons or Embiid going to Houston to be the Rockets new young star.

Simmons is listed at 6’10, but has the skills of a point guard and is just 24 years old. There have however been some questions about Simmons shooting ability especially from behind the 3-point line which is a huge part of today’s NBA game. In his first two NBA seasons Simmons didn’t even attempt a 3-point shot and last season he shot 28.6% from behind the 3-point line which is well below the league average.

Now remember that Houston also has a new head coach in Stephen Silas and it’s unclear if they’ll play the same style they have the last couple of seasons, but with the addition of DeMarcus Cousins it appears they may be going a different route this season. With a change in offensive philosophy Simmons could be a very good fit for the Rockets.

Don’t forget about Embiid. While it might not look like it makes sense for the Rockets to have Embiid and Cousins on their roster don’t forget that both players have had their injury issues in their careers. Both players have also shown the ability to play on the perimeter; so it’s possible that they could co-exist on the same roster.

Embiid is a 7’0 footer who has shown he can score in the NBA. He has a career scoring average of 23.9 points per game while also grabbing an average of 11.5 rebounds per game. those could be some quality numbers for the Rockets to add to their line up in a Harden trade. Embiid will be turning 27 years old soon and the only real question about him is can he stay healthy. Embiid missed his first two seasons with injuries and has never played more than 64 games in a season. Would it be worth it for the Rockets to send Harden to Philadelphia for Embiid and a load of draft picks?

What do you think the Rockets should do with Harden? Should they trade him now? Or should they hold onto him until the season starts and see what the market looks like then?

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live broadcast of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

  1. I have a feeling that Houston will ultimately deal Harden but they would be wise to get something of equal value in return. Lots of names mentioned and a couple of potential trade teams like Brooklyn but we might be surprised and have another team pop in at the last minute to make a deal.


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