If James Harden trades for the Nets, Josh Hart, for one, thinks the 2021 NBA title race is a rap


Get ready for a wild week in NBA Land. The trade market opens on Monday. The draft is on Wednesday. And free agency begins on Friday, with players able to officially contract with their new teams on Sunday. Buck up the heckle.

Rumors are already flying. Russell Westbrook wants out of Houston. Junior Holiday is available. The Warriors may trade their No. 2 pick, possibly to Larscus Aldridge. The Celtics are reportedly looking to deal with their three first-round picks for the lottery pick, which they could try to take to Holiday to New Orleans. The Lakers have already agreed to take their number 28 this year and send Danny Green to OKC for Dennis Schroder.

It is happening behind the scenes.

They are calm before the whispering storm.

And what a storm it would be if James Harden is dealt with the Brooklyn Nets, who apparently have topped Harden’s wish list, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojanowski, Ramona Shelburne and Zoë Lowe. From ESPN:

As Houston Rockets star James Harden considers his uncertain future with the franchise, the Brooklyn Nets are topping his list as a potential trading venue, sources told ESPN.

According to sources, Kevin Durant and Brooklyn are thought of joining Kyrie Irving.

Durant and Harden – Previous teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder have discussed the possibility recently, but have not yet had a trade discussion between the two front offices.

Sources said Harden is becoming uneasy about the Rockets’ ability to compete for the NBA Title and is considering the possibility of being pushed to play elsewhere before his contract expires.

The Nets are believed to be considering the feasibility of a deal for Harden, but it is unclear how far Houston will go to the franchise in exchange for its assets.

If the deal is actually put into practice, you’ll have to work hard to find a more talented threesome in NBA history than Durant, Harden and Irving. When Josh Hart of the New Orleans Pelicans caught wind of the possibility, he Tweeted: “I was already over 2020, but if James goes to Brooklyn, I’ll revisit 2022 because they got 2021.”

Is heart right If Harden, Durant and Irving join, is the 2021 title race a wrap? Again, his talent will not be denied. The question is, how will they fit? You can represent the Durant-Steph Curry-Kell Thompson threesome, which represented nearly the same talent, but went along with the cleaners, mostly because of Curry and Thompson’s ability to throw the ball.

Harden, Irving and Durant all need the best of the ball, and in fact, this “there’s only one ball” drum will be defeated on the field if the deal comes together. This may be true. Durant and Irving were exhausted in a hearty dribble for 10 seconds, and vice versa when Irving was pounding the ball. Meanwhile, Durant is a better scorer than both of them.

Defense will be an issue. Harden has fared better, but he and Irving remain defensive ministers, and who knows if Durant would be the defending ball he would be without a Drummond-Green-type as a tag-team partner or Golden State’s overall system I was in Golden State. The Nets only hired Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni. Not bad boys culture at all.

Injuries are a concern. Irving played just 20 games last season. Durnt is coming from an Achilles tear.

Depth will also be a problem. The Nets would almost certainly have to send Caris Levert and Spencer Dinwiddie out to get Hardis, and also include Jarrett Allen and draft picks. The Nets were going with Miami’s LeBron-Bosh-Wade Circa 2010 blueprint when they top-loaded the roster and relied on team players and veteran minimums.

This led Miami to two titles and four finals, and Brooklyn would also be shot at the top of the title odds list. For all the potential issues we have just listed, playoffs are about demanding double teams that produce ball movement, and in the absence of that, there are as many players as possible who can make their shot. It would be deadly as simple as these three people able to make any shot they want, any time they want.

At least, that’s what Brooklyn will count – that sheer scoring talent can allay any and all concerns. They could well be right. Who knows if it will happen, but it is starting to feel very real. Rockets have argued. They know it. Westbrook wants to. PJ Tucker is on the trade block. Is a bloop this Close to this happening, and when and if it happens, Hearty won’t stay there long. He represents a lot of value for a team trying to kickstart their next era.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn is playing for now. This deal matters a lot, which is why it is gaining steam. Like I said, buckle up. This wild is about to get one way or another.

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