The James Harden trade saga reportedly could be nearing a merciful end.
The Houston Rockets reportedly are working on sending Harden to either the Brooklyn Nets or the Philadelphia 76ers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, who indicated Wednesday that a trade could happen soon. Harden, who reportedly requested a trade before the start of the season, made comments Tuesday night that made it abundantly clear he still wants out of Houston.
Here are the most noteworthy excerpts from a column published Wednesday by Charania and Sam Amick:
Sources tell The Athletic the Rockets are sifting through offers on a potential James Harden from two teams — the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers — that could culminate quickly.
The Nets have prepared a package to Houston for Harden featuring all of their four future first-round picks and three future pick swaps, multiple sources said. … For the Nets, there could be hesitation to mortgage future assets with this type of ferocity. Brooklyn does not owe any extra firsts or have any owed to it, so it has four firsts and three swaps available.
The Rockets have pursued a 76ers package centered on All-NBA star Ben Simmons, sources said. Boston and Toronto have also expressed interest at various points.
One player whom the Rockets and 76ers have discussed in potential packages is 2019 first-round pick Matisse Thybulle, with Houston having interest in the defensive-minded forward, sources said. The Rockets have had a steep asking price from all interested teams, and the threshold for Philadelphia — and other contenders — to give up one or multiple first-round picks with young assets is unclear.
Obviously, things can change, but at this point a Harden trade appears imminent. The only question is where the 2017-18 NBA MVP ultimately lands.
As for the Celtics, there are many reasons why a trade with Boston is unlikely.