Golden State Warriors inquired about James Harden trade

By Vincent Frank
Jan 3, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) stands during the national anthem prior to a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Could a James Harden trade be on the horizon with the 2020-21 NBA season slated to start here soon? If the former MVP had his way, that would come to fruition here soon. We’re now hearing rumors that the Golden State Warriors have already inquired about making a deal for Mr. Harden.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, said inquiry came prior to fellow star guard Klay Thompson suffering a torn Achilles last month.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Warriors, check out #DubNation rumors, rankings, and news here.

Golden State Warriors called Rockets about James Harden trade

It’s not yet known whether the Warriors are still interested in potentially teaming James Harden up with Stephen Curry this coming season. Perhaps, the Thompson injury changed the dynamics on their end.

What we do know is that Golden State general manager Bob Myers has been given the financial go-ahead by the team’s ownership group to do whatever is possible to get this team back on track.

After earning five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, the Warriors suffered through an injury-plagued 2019-20 campaign that saw the team go 15-50 with Curry and Thompson playing in a combined five games.

The Warriors already added star wing Kelly Oubre in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason and just selected James Wiseman No. 2 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.

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What would a James Harden trade to the Warriors look like?

For financial purposes, it would have to start with Andrew Wiggins heading to Houston for James Harden. While he’s a 20-point per game scorer and still rather young (25), the former top pick wouldn’t necessarily be the centerpiece in this deal.

Rather, the Warriors would have to offer up Wiseman in any trade. From there, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ top-three protected pick in the 2021 NBA Draft would have to head to Houston. Add in multiple future firsts, and this trade could work.

Even then, the finances wouldn’t necessarily meet the criteria under today’s NBA salary cap. Harden is earning $11.7 million more than Wiggins this coming season. Not only are the Warriors hard-capped, they are over the luxury tax.

In order to pull off a James Harden trade, moving the likes of Kevon Looney, Jordan Poole, Damion Lee and Eric Paschall to the Rockets would have to be in the cards. If not, perhaps Draymond Green is floated about in an expanded three-team trade.

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Moves of this ilk would certainly be hard to make with about three weeks to go before the 2020-21 season starts. Equally as important, the Warriors’ newfound depth would be tested in a big way.

Either way, the idea of teaming Curry up with James Harden this season with Klay Thompson returning in 2021-22 has to be appealing to the Warriors’ brass.

Even then, James Harden to the Warriors is unlikely

Houston Rockets James Harden trade
Sep 12, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) warms up prior to game five of the second round against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s just doesn’t seem to be a realistic option right now.

After all, the Warriors are still a legit top-six team in the Western Conference with Curry, Oubre, Wiggins, Green and Wiseman likely manning the starting five.

Would Bob Myers and Co. want to risk the team’s long-term future by trading away valuable picks and Wiseman for James Harden? It’s a question that will be answered here soon.

As for James Harden, the Brooklyn Nets are the odds-on favorites to land the Houston Rockets star. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers have also been bandied about as an option.

Things are not going too swimmingly between Harden and the Rockets’ brass. His trade demand has become public record. The Rockets are not too happy about that. They’re also in no hurry to trade the three-time defending NBA scoring champ given that James Harden has two more years remaining on his current deal.

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Related: If you’re a fan of the Rockets, check out #OneMission rumors, rankings, and news here.