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Where Will James Harden Play Next Season?

James Harden Trade Odds November 17, 2020

The Houston Rockets hold a lot of the cards for this NBA offseason, with reports coming out they could move on from Russell Westbrook. Now, James Harden could also be on the move, though the Rockets are favored to keep him for the 2020-21 NBA season.

Despite reports he has demanded a trade, the Rockets are -150 favorites to have Harden on their roster for the start of next season, according to the latest odds for NBA free agency and player movement. The best basketball betting sites have included five other teams that could potentially trade for Harden, with the Brooklyn Nets (+200) and Philadelphia 76ers (+750) leading the charge.

The NBA season is expected to begin on December 22 and with big trades already involving Chris Paul and Jrue Holiday, bettors should expect more transactions in the coming days, especially with the NBA draft on November 18.

What Team Will James Harden Play For Next Season?

James Harden - Next Team Odds for 2020-21 Regular Season
TeamOdds
Houston Rockets-150
Brooklyn Nets+200
Philadelphia 76ers+750
Miami Heat+1800
New York Knicks+1800
Boston Celtics+1800

Odds as of November 17 at Bovada

Why The Rockets Will Keep Harden

Having a top-five NBA player on your roster is a luxury. Sometimes teams accomplish it through the draft, sometimes it’s by way of a trade with a team that underrates its player, and sometimes it happens when a player pulls a LeBron James and moves from team to team because of superstar clout.

All three of those instances are very rare so it seems far-fetched the Rockets would trade Harden at all. The 2018 NBA MVP is still the best offensive player in the game and while his playing style isn’t the most endearing to basketball purists, the reality is that his talent alone will win his team 50 games every season.

That’s why the reported trade demand from Harden just seems hollow, even if he believes the championship window has closed in Houston. While the Rockets could get a boatload in assets in a trade, the fact remains that he still has two years left on his contract, with a player option for a third year.

As soon as he signed that extension prior to last season, he gave up most of his leverage to force a trade or pick a preferred trade destination. With the Rockets bringing in a new general manager and coach, they need stability in a year when instability seems to be the constant.

Why The Rockets Will Trade Harden

The number of assets the Rockets could get in a James Harden trade would be enormous. Since the Nets are supposedly his preferred destination, they seem to be the logical choice for betting this prop at +200 because Brooklyn has the pieces to get this deal done.

The Nets could offer the trio of Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen along with draft picks that would put Houston in rebuild mode but also in a great spot to shift gears. How Harden would look in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving is another story but from Houston’s perspective, the bounty for Harden would be legit.

Then there are the 76ers, who just hired Daryl Morey, the GM of the Rockets when they acquired Harden back in 2012. Morey is not shy about letting people know how good Harden is and would likely spearhead a trade that would include the likes of Ben Simmons and some draft picks. It may not be as good a haul as Brooklyn can offer but Simmons is a legit top-15 player in the NBA even if he has his deep-shooting warts.

Pairing Harden with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris would make the Sixers an immediate contender in the Eastern Conference. At +750 odds, don’t dismiss Morey’s ability to finesse a move and put Philadelphia back in the top tier of NBA teams.