NBA Executive Sees ‘Growing Buzz’ About James Harden, Rockets

James Harden, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

There could be some big names hitting the market in NBA free agency this offseason. Multiple All-Stars could be seeking out new contracts, including James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers. There is a chance that Harden is on the move again depending on how the 76ers fare in the postseason.

After battling through injuries for the majority of the 2021-22 season, Harden looks to be back on track. He is leading the NBA with 10.8 assists per game while scoring 21.4 points and grabbing 6.2 rebounds with 1.2 steals. His shooting percentages are near the best they have ever been in his career as Harden is taking full advantage of the attention that Joel Embiid draws.

After taking a pay cut to remain with the 76ers last offseason, it seemed like this was a partnership that could extend for years to come. However, it sounds like Harden’s heart is in another place.

According to an NBA executive that spoke to NBA Analysis Network, Harden is one of the stars who could be on the move this offseason in free agency. His potential destination? Back with the Houston Rockets.

“It sounds like a real possibility right now (for Harden to join the Rockets this summer). If the 76ers overachieve in the playoffs, it’d be tough for him to leave a situation like that. But if they come up short again, all bets are off. He loves the city of Houston, and it doesn’t hurt that this time will probably have had like three top-five picks in the last few years. They can get creative with the Nets’ picks in trades, too. I know the owner there doesn’t want to be losing much longer. Sounds like a fit.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Houston Rockets Updates

What could be considered overachieving for the 76ers in the playoffs? Advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and being competitive there could be enough to convince Harden to stay in the City of Brotherly Love.

If winning is his No. 1 priority, he will stick things out with the 76ers as they provide him the best chance of competing, unless another playoff team on the brink of contention can change his mind. For as much as he may love Houston, the Rockets aren’t close to contention.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Houston Rockets Updates

Even if they were to sign Harden, there would be plenty of work left to do when it comes to upgrading the rest of the roster. The Rockets currently own the worst record in the NBA and it will take more than one player to get them into the playoff picture next season. But, if Harden does commit early on, it could give them a chance to recruit other players to the team.

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