However, it appears that the Rockets are playing hardball, as they’re apparently demanding either Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant in return, and it looks like the Rockets’ desire to deal Harden is lukewarm at best.
Shams Charania on GameTime recently: "[As] for James Harden, on the Nets, I'm told there's not much interest on Houston's part with them, unless it includes Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant."
Shams says he thinks there isn't "tremendous pressure on Houston" to make a trade.
— Alec Sturm (@Alec_Sturm) November 17, 2020
It’s rare to see one bonafide star get traded for another in the NBA, yet the Rockets did it last year when they acquired Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Chris Paul and several draft picks.
From Harden’s perspective, a trade to the Nets would give him the best shot at finally winning an NBA championship, even if it means either Irving or Durant relocating to Southeast Texas.
The Los Angeles-area native is unquestionably in the prime of his career. He has led the NBA in scoring the past three seasons in a row and was named the league’s MVP for the 2017-18 campaign.
Yet Harden has failed to win a world title, and at age 31, his biological clock is ticking louder and louder.