Of all the names mentioned ahead of the NBA trade deadline, perhaps James Harden is the most notable. A nine-time All-Star and three-time scoring champ, one achievement he has yet to accomplish is winning the NBA Finals.
This is believed to have been the reason he wanted to become a part of the Brooklyn Nets in the first place, to chase a championship alongside superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Though, it hasn’t been that simple. Currently mired in a nine-game losing streak, the Nets don’t appear anywhere close to earning home-court advantage, though to be fair, they’re just 5.5 games away.
Still, apparent internal chemistry issues may be rearing their ugly heads on the court and that’s not a good sign long-term. Perhaps because of this, Harden wants a trade out of Brooklyn already after less than a full season (80 games) with the team he wanted to be traded to.
If there’s one thing Harden knows, it’s what it feels like to be traded. He has plenty of experience, having been in the league for 13 seasons and having been traded twice himself.
Harden also spent the past year with Durant, who’s taken plenty of heat over the years for first deciding to join the enemy by signing with the Golden State Warriors after losing to them in the 2016 NBA Finals. Then, he doubled down and joined the Brooklyn Nets in another obvious effort to build a dynasty, only it hasn’t worked out thus far.
He may want a trade, but James Harden doesn’t want the backlash
James Harden has plenty of first-hand experience of both being traded and seeing the backlash that players take for wanting a change of scenery.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Harden does in fact want a trade, but he doesn’t want to face the scrutiny commonly associated with a star player asking for a ticket out of town.
Perhaps this is why the rumors have been all over the place. From Harden seemingly working backchannels to do whatever he can to push his way out of town all the while his coach Steve Nash insists a Harden trade won’t be happening.
At this point it’s a mess, but the good news is we’ll have our answers soon enough with the trade deadline passing by at 3 PM EST today.