James Harden And players like him never get traded. There are dozens of reasons for this, but the simplest one is not having much of them. How many players have ranked third or best in five best player votes in just six years? Who got an average of 30 points or more in three consecutive seasons? Most players who consider themselves equal to Harden have statues in front of the arenas. Who can you trade Kobe Bryant M. Stephen Curry Because that would come close to worth?
This is where Houston’s initial resistance to trading with Harden came from. There was no fair deal on the table. Now, apparently, there’s not even a good idea. Mike Singer in the Denver Post I mentioned that Missiles Interested in Nuggets straight ahead Michael Porter Jr.However, they have not yet been able to generate any momentum in any deal. Multiple reports stated that Miami Heat They withdrew From Harden’s talks, Philadelphia 76ers Executive Director Daryl Morey He said in the record He will not trade Ben Simons About his previous position in Houston, Harden has reportedly been himself Two new teams had to be added Boston and Portland – to his favorite list of options for increased wheel lubrication. This isn’t the first time he’s doing this. His initial focus was on Brooklyn Networks Before adding Miami, Philadelphia and Milwaukee to its list.
However, no one has climbed to the standard, which is almost justified if you don’t seriously look at the Harden production. He is 31 years old and hardly known for his conditioning. His penchant for nightlife was alarming even before he began using the club scene to try to make commercial clout. Putting him in a high position of defense has required a lot of work so far, and he is two years away from extending a contract that will be aging badly. Nobody wants to create Russell Westbrook Trading. Teams are afraid to give away their best assets only to be left clutching the bag on a falling star in ascending contract.
The breakup comes in identifying Harden as a star. It is not one. It’s something higher than that, a member of that rare class of statue players who drastically change your team’s fortune to the point where there’s almost nothing you can redeem close to its value. He is the greatest elite team crime driver in the entire NBA.
Harden didn’t need to score a single point on his season debut on Saturday to remind anyone of it. He didn’t need to win the match either. He just needed to stand on the ground and terrorize the defenses the same way he had always done, in ways that could be represented by one play. The action begins with Derek Jones Jr. guarding Harden. Christian Wood He sets a barrier for him, is forced Robert Covington To switch to Harden. But watch Jones’ eyes. Even with Wood wide open behind him, they never left Harden.
Four eyes are not enough for you? Let’s try six.
This phenomenon has taken many forms over the years. last year, Harden’s defenses doubled The moment he crossed the half of the field and decided that letting him get the ball was a more dangerous proposition than playing three against four. The year before that, it was Ricky Rubio Standing behind him Just to take his pointer a step back 3. The overall point is the same. Harden uniquely jammed defenses to the point that his mere presence almost guaranteed an elite attack no matter who he played with.
That was on display tonight. Harden’s 44 points weren’t the story. Nor were his 17 assists. His team scored 126 points without him John WallAnd the Cousins of DeMarcus And the Eric Gordon. This is what his team always does. Hardins Rockets finished the top seven offensively for five years in a row despite the list being revised several times in that period. They almost toppled the Blazers on the road despite giving them 37 minutes of play time for unskilled beginners. Jason Tate And 27 for David Nawaba Fresh from a torn Achilles tendon. If he can do that with the inconvenient game list in Houston, just imagine what he can add to a ready competitor.
The contenders hardly have the opportunity to add such transformative power. No team does. They hardly exist, and for the past several weeks, Harden’s stature as a player has been taken for granted. Saturday was a reminder that he shouldn’t. This isn’t all normal stars we’re talking about. He’s not even an ordinary star. He is one of the best offensive players in basketball history sitting in the market waiting to be claimed. If Saturday’s performance doesn’t mention the 29 teams who have a chance to trade with him, nothing will happen.