Could the Sixers poach James Harden from the Rockets?

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 22: Houston Rockets Guard James Harden (13) reacts to a call during a NBA game between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers on November 22, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

According to Shams Charania, former league MVP and 8x All-Star James Harden reportedly wants out of Houston and has listed the Sixers as a potential destination.

It’s easy to see why the Rockets would be comfortable keeping Harden around for as long as possible. The 31-year-old is under contract with the Rockets through at least 2022, and he has a $47 million player option for the 2023 season.

However, Harden had previously expressed to Steph Curry that he wanted to play in a ‘freer’ system where he didn’t have to wear the superman cape every night.

A career 36.3% shooter from beyond the arc, Harden is showing no signs of slowing down. The Rockets changed dramatically last year with the addition of Russell Westbrook, but Harden still found a way to score 34.3 points per game.

With former Rockets exec Daryl Morey now helping to right the Sixers ship, and the team in dire need of shooting efficiency, it’s extremely easy to connect the dots and see why the Sixers would obviously be interested in acquiring arguably the most prolific shooter in the entire league.

How likely is a trade between the two? Who knows. But Morey does have a history of preferring to use draft picks in trades to acquire established talent, as opposed to developing young players of his own. There is no talent more established than James Harden.

The Sixers would undoubtedly have to move on from one of their bigger names in order to snag Harden and it would be hard to imagine Houston being overjoyed at the idea of taking on Al Horford and his terrible contract.

With the NBA Draft just around the corner, there may well be conversations between the two teams. What would it take to snag Harden away from the Rockets? That’s another discussion entirely and one we will dive into shortly.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire