The Houston Rockets are raising trade discussions on All-NBA guard James Harden beyond their favorite spots in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, sources tell ESPN.
Several playoff-caliber teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences tell ESPN that they are finding comfort in raising high-level business assets in negotiations to acquire Harden. Sources said the rockets are under discussion on several fronts and are communicating with Harden.
Many teams tell ESPN that they feel less constrained about trading for Harden without any assurance that he can become a free agent once in two years.
Sources said the Sixers have expressed a desire to include All-Star guard Ben Simmons in the trade package for Hardik. Sources said the Rockets are limited by interest in their personnel, and a third team would be needed to emerge in negotiations. So far, the Rockets ask the price of young players and do not carry any discussion to the advanced stage.
Sources said the Rockets plan to start the season from next week, with Harden sharing a backcourt with John Wall, but displaying a desire for the teams to move forward on completing a deal as soon as possible Will increase.
Harden, a three-time scoring champion and 2018 NBA MVP, did not report to Houston until December 8, two days after the Rockets’ team began practice. He missed the Rockets’ first two conference games, and admitted that he is “in catch-up mode” with game conditioning and learning the systems of new Houston coach Stephen Silas.
Harden, 31, asked for a trade before training camp, despite the Rockets offering him a two-year, $ 103 million contract extension – on top of three years, with $ 133 million still owed to him, sources said. Told ESPN.
“I can only focus on it right now and the best for me is James Harden making sure I’m in shape,” Hardik told reporters on Wednesday. “Like I said, I didn’t even get a chance to play 5-on-5. Individual workouts, when you do individual basketball training, is great, but as every NBA player can agree, 5-on-5. There is nothing like it. Training, physicality, reading and making things like that. With me being out for the first time yesterday, I felt good, and it’s exciting. “
ESPN’s Tim McMahon contributed to this report.