We could be seeing the NBA’s next iconic “Big 3” in Brooklyn — and it could be one of the best trios ever assembled, at least on paper.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday that the idea of joining the Brooklyn Nets is “resonating” with Houston Rockets superstar James Harden as his future with his current organization remains on shaky ground.
The Rockets are on the verge of facing a complete and total rebuild after moving on from head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey.
Star point guard, Russell Westbrook, who was acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder to reunite with Harden in Houston, is also a part of trade talks that sees him linked with the likes of the New York Knicks. The potential departures of both could set the franchise back years after an inability to get over the hump in the Western Conference.
Harden has been one of the elite scorers in the NBA, leading the league in scoring each of the last three years, averaging 33.7 points per game in his last 218 appearances.
That kind of scoring prowess would add an extra level to a Nets team that is on the cusp of becoming a juggernaut in the Eastern Conference after the signings of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant last year.
Durant has yet to appear in a game with Brooklyn as he rehabbed from a ruptured Achilles tendon while Irving lasted just 20 games in 2019-20 while he dealt with a multitude of injuries.
Harden and Durant spent three seasons as teammates in Oklahoma City where they created a fearsome trio with Westbrook before he headed to Houston and hit new heights as a superstar in 2012.
The asking price for Brooklyn, however, would be high to acquire Harden, who has two years and an additional third-year player option that amounts to approximately $132 million in total left on his contract. It would most certainly include the likes of star shooting guard, Spencer Dinwiddie, and the emerging Caris LeVert, along with more assets.
There also comes the question of whether there will be enough of the basketball to go around at Barclays Center should Harden enter the fold. Both Irving and Durant are capable of putting up close to 30 points per night and adding Harden to the mix would only take looks away from them.