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Las Vegas expecting a James Harden trade to the Nets

NBA power rankings: Houston Rockets
Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden. One of the most-prolific scorers in NBA history. A former league MVP. Currently a member of the Houston Rockets, the 31-year-old Harden wants to be traded.

Back east, the Brooklyn Nets have been bandied about as the most-logical landing spot. The idea would be to team Harden up with fellow future Hall of Famers Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to build the NBA’s newest super team.

With less than a month to go before the 2020-21 NBA season starts, time is running out for the Rockets to pull off a trade. Time is also running out for Sportsbooks to come up with odds for the campaign. This now all aligns in Las Vegas.

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

Sportsbook not taking bets on Nets, Rockets until James Harden situation is settled

Westgate Sportsbook in the desert metropolis has decided to wait until this situation plays out to take bets on win totals for Brooklyn and Houston.

“It was tricky this year to calculate win totals with the shortened season and I will admit some may be a touch off. We are really curious to see how some of these get bet,” said BetOnline SportsBook Manager Adam Burns, via the NY Post. “We are not opening the Nets or Rockets wins just yet as we’re still waiting on the Harden rumors, which would have a major impact of probably six wins for the Rockets.”

Whatever the logic might be behind the scenes, this could suggest that the gambling community expects Harden to be a member of the Nets once the 2020-21 NBA season opens up Dec. 22.

That’s magnified by the fact that win-total projections are out for teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, all of whom have been linked to Harden since his not-so-subtle trade demand.

Related: James Harden trade scenarios

Potential James Harden trade

We’ve heard the names floated about. Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen headlining a hypothetical package heading back to Houston in a Harden trade.

As for the Rockets, they seem intent on drawing this whole thing out. The team’s new brass is not happy that Harden’s trade demands became public record. Owner Tilman Fertitta is apparently taking it personally, too.

Right now, things don’t seem to be trending in a specific direction as it relates to a potential Harden trade. What we do know is that he’d net Houston one of the biggest returns in recent NBA history.

James Harden stats

Rockets guard James Harden argues with official during NBA Playoff game against Thunder.
Aug 20, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) talks with referee Marc Davis (8) after the second quarter in an NBA basketball first round playoff game of the 2020 NBA playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

People will question James Harden’s shot selection. Others will openly question his willingness to improve on defense. That’s all fine and dandy. But his numbers on offense over the past several seasons are historical.

  • 2017-18: 30.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 8.8 APG
  • 2018-19: 36.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 7.5 APG
  • 2019-20: 34.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 7.5 APG

If Harden were indeed dealt to the Nets, they’d likely surpass the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference odds moving forward.

It’s something to watch as the NBA offseason starts to hit its slow cycle.

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