It’s been a week full of speculation about where James Harden will wind up. While Harden is signed through the end of next season, he wants out of Houston badly enough that last week he skipped the team’s first practice to go to a rapper’s birthday party at a strip club.
Earlier this week, Marc Stein of the New York Times projected the Philadelphia 76ers as the most likely landing spot for Harden. Today, Jared Dudley, of the Los Angeles Lakers, said on the Jason McIntyre Show on Fox Sports Radio that he expects Harden to be traded to Philadelphia in the next 10 days:
“He could only go to Philly,” Dudley said. “There’s nowhere else. Brooklyn doesn’t have enough. Philly has Ben Simmons. Denver, no. Milwaukee, no. Who else did he say, Miami? Herro’s not enough [to trade for him] and they don’t even want to give up Herro. It’d be Herro and Bam. Can’t give up those two. It has to be [Philly]. You don’t want a disgruntled superstar. James Harden, unlike other superstars, not being the most professional, it’s a bad look. When you can get an all-star, a potential superstar in Ben Simmons, you’ve gotta take him.”
There are a couple factors at play here. Would Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta be willing to make a deal with his former GM, Daryl Morey, now in Philly? Would Morey trade Simmons? I do think that Philly would make that trade because Simmons does not shoot three-pointers and it’s hard to see how that fits in Morey’s analytics, but we’ll have to see what happens from here.