First off I want to say, I have seen no serious rumors about this. This is mostly something hypothetical that I want to elaborate on. Now, is this really feasible? Possibly. The Cavs have a decent amount of trade assets, and they could have a shot at James Harden if the Houston Rockets decide to go full rebuild mode.
What would it take to get Harden in Cleveland?
Simply put, it would take a lot. Harden is arguably a top-five player in the NBA and was the MVP in 2018. Harden is an eight-time All-Star with six First Team All-NBA nominations to his name. Cleveland, although, does have some assets that Houston could find appealing. This being young players with potential, expiring contracts and draft picks. The main expiring contract player would be Andre Drummond, assuming he accepts his player option. Is Drummond a franchise player for the Rockets to build around? Well, the Cavs may think so. The question is: does Houston?
The Cavaliers have a ton of picks they could throw in, as well as the fifth pick in this year’s draft. If Houston goes full rebuild mode, the Cavs could look to sneak in and boost their rebuild and become an automatic playoff team. Cleveland could look to offer a similar trade package that the Los Angeles Clippers did for Paul George last offseason. Many picks and young players. The Cavs have a lot of young players that could be involved in the trade. Some of the likes of Dylan Windler, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. and Jordan Bell could possibly be an intriguing piece. I think the Cavaliers would avoid trading Porter Jr. and may view him as untouchable. And I couldn’t see them trading both Sexton and Garland.
We could be seeing a final trade of something like this:
Cavaliers trade: G Collin Sexton, C Andre Drummond, F Dylan Windler, F Jordan Bell, 2020 1st (5th overall), 2021 1st, 2021 1st (Bucks), 2022 1st, 2024 1st
Rockets trade: G James Harden
Too much for Cleveland to give up, or not enough for Houston to let go of Harden? James Harden is 31 years old and has not been to the finals in his tenure with the Rockets. A move from Houston may be beneficial to both parties. I may be speaking it into existence, but Daryl Morey stepped down on October 15th, and this could lead to major reconstruction. Russell Westbrook has already been in many trade rumors and Harden’s name has floated around a bit as well. Mike D’Antoni also stepped down from his position as head coach last month. It is very hypothetical of me, but maybe there is a chance Koby Altman could be on the phone with Houston in the future.