Happy Wednesday, we’re now in the umpteenth week of hearing about how James Harden wants out of Houston, but is still on their current roster. Apparently, the Rockets General Manager, Rafael Stone, has yet to find a suitable deal for the organization, but it seems like he’s not considering one that’s in plain sight. Harden for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Yes, you read that right. Believe it or not this actually would make more sense than you might think. Since it’s been over a month now that Harden wanting to be moved has been in the headlines, you can only imagine how many calls the Rockets have received about the former MVP, but yet he remains in H-town. Why is that? It’s because Stone knows that Harden is pretty irreplaceable so he wants to get another generational talent in return.
Well, the Greek Freak would fit that description it’s safe to say. The two stars are like night and day in terms of play style, but both could be a huge catalyst to winning it all.
We all know, Harden is a shooter with great handles and pushes the pace. We all know Giannis is a slasher who kicks the ball out to shooters, plays phenomenal defense, and is relentless on the boards.
In other words, what Harden does Giannis doesn’t and vice versa. However, contractually this would make more sense than anything.
Harden is owed $41 million this year, $44 million next year and $47 million the year after that before he’s a free agent in 2023.
Antetokounmpo is owed $27 million this season and going into the last year of his contract.
Why does Harden want out again? To legitimately contend for a title. Well, this offseason the Bucks just went out and got Jrue Holiday, one of the most underrated and highly valuable point guards in the league. It also helps to have Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis and other role players on the roster. So, when you consider how the Bucks have been atop the standings in the East for the past few years, Harden should definitely be able to help maintain that, and possibly get them over the hump.
Luckily for the Rockets, Giannis wants to contend too. As it is, he’s already stalling signing his extension with the Bucks, so this season could be a tryout season for him anyway. It helps though to have John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Danuel House, P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon and other role players to help him contend this year.
Worst case scenario if it doesn’t work out and they make an early playoff exit, the Greek Freak can put on his general manager cap and do next offseason for the Rockets what he did this offseason to get the Bucks to go after Holiday.
You’re probably thinking this is all very risky, more so for the Rockets because Giannis could walk next summer, leaving them pretty much empty handed if the Wall and Cousins experiment doesn’t work out.
Isn’t that what this is all about though? Taking risks in order to contend for championships?
Well, stay tuned to see if the Rockets and Bucks are of that same mindset.
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