LA Clippers: Three trades that get us James Harden

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LA Clippers Houston Rockets

LA Clippers Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

If the Rockets put James Harden on the market, here are three trades to get him to the LA Clippers.

There is something up with the Houston Rockets. General Manager Daryl Morey stepped down on Thursday, leaving a lot of uncertainty for the team. Will they move one or both of their superstars, James Harden and Russell Westbrook? That remains to be seen. If they do though, many teams will be making calls about Harden. If the LA Clippers are interested, here are three potential deals to get him in Los Angeles.

You are probably wondering, why Harden? Is he that much of an upgrade over Paul George? My thought is yes. While George is obviously the better defender of the two, Harden’s offensive game is unmatched. He also adds something the Clippers desperately need – playmaking.

With his ability to create offense both for himself and others, the Clippers would be extremely tough to guard. Kawhi would be the best player that Harden has ever played with outside of maybe Kevin Durant (but he wasn’t at his peak with Harden as a teammate).

Harden was also reportedly looked at by the Clippers last summer when they were in the process of finding a star to pair with Kawhi. Houston may not have been willing to deal then but might now given that circumstances have changed.

With that in mind, let’s get into the trades.

LA Clippers trade for James Harden straight up

Rockets Get
Paul George
Landry Shamet
Mfiondu Kabengele
Clippers Get
James Harden

The first trade is pretty straight forward.

The Houston Rockets get Paul George, Landry Shamet, and Mfiondu Kabengele while the LA Clippers get James Harden. Sure, the Clippers lose some depth but they get an extra guaranteed year of a superstar in Harden as opposed to George who can technically leave during the next offseason.

Is this trade going to happen? Absolutely not.

It sets the table though for our other two deals though. In short, the Clippers would have to move Paul George in order to take in Harden’s money. The only other option to make salaries match would be Kawhi Leonard getting traded but I don’t think there is a reality where the Clips move him over PG.

Given that PG is an expiring deal and Harden is not, the Clips also have to give up at least one asset. Landry Shamet becomes the easy choice but there are other candidates like Ivica Zubac, Terance Mann, and Mfiondu Kabengele. Zu and Sham have more value than the latter two and like with PG and Kawhi, I see the team a lot more inclined to move Shamet over Zubac.

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