With the NBA’s trading deadline looming, the Brooklyn Nets have just three weeks to make a move or stay the same. Brooklyn has put two major names on the commercial market, but these guys don’t hold the same value as James Harden.
Harden did not sign a contract extension with the Nets before the October 18 deadline, but after that, he said, “I don’t plan to leave this organization and the situation we’re in.”
Kevin Durant signed a four-year, $198 million extension last August, and although Sean Marks was “confident” Kyrie Irving would sign an extension with Brooklyn, the alleged $187 million four-year offer was cancelled.
As of now, of the team’s big three, only Durant has made an extended commitment.
Harden’s future with curling is uncertain. Daryl Morey and Philadelphia have pushed to trade in the then All-Star game six times before it was dealt to Brooklyn a year ago, and there’s still a chance Harden will join the Sixers this summer.
Should the Brooklyn Nets trade James Harden before the February 10 deadline?
The short answer is no.
Harden has a player option in 2022-23 and if he declines the $47.4 million option, he will become an unrestricted free agent. It wouldn’t be as bad as it sounds as it would open up the possibility for him to sign a five-year, $269.9 million deal with the Nets.
Of course, that’s what fans and the organization want.
However, if he decides he doesn’t want to stay in Brooklyn, his next step will likely lead him to Brotherly Love City. His relationship with Morey, Philadelphia’s head of basketball operations, goes back to their time together in Houston.
If that happens, it will likely be via a signing and trading involving Ben Simmons. While the drama surrounding Simmons has abated a bit, the chances of a 2016 first draft pick being tackled over the next three weeks are slim.
Sport Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reports that Sixers are not lowering their asking price for Simmons even as the deadline approaches. Philadelphia is not looking for role players, but for players who will help the team become a contender for the championship.
And according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fisher, the Sixers are up against players like Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jaylen Brown or Harden, whether it’s before the deadline or during the holiday season.
If Simmons is not traded, that means that a signing and trading deal with Harden will become more likely.
However, regardless of Irving’s future after the final year of his contract next season, it will be hard to imagine Harden leaving Durant and curling. However, that seems to be what Philadelphia is hoping for.
Will the Morey and Sixers be able to convince Harden to make a short move to Philadelphia?