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James Harden Next Team Odds: Will He Stay Or Will He Go?

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 4 mins

James Harden Next Team Odds: Will He Stay Or Will He Go?

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There’s no denying the impact of James Harden, pound for pound one of the more gifted offensive players in NBA history. There’s also no denying that the 10-time All-Star has never won an NBA title and forced trades out of three cities to be part of super teams, only to come up short each time. 

It happened again. Despite four potential Hall of Famers in the rotation, including Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Russell Westbrook, Harden and the Clippers were knocked out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks. It mapped a five-year run of getting eliminated in the second round for Harden. 

Now Harden is an unrestricted free agent. With the Clippers well past the salary cap and with Paul George likely to forego a player option, Harden may seek a new opportunity to get that elusive first NBA Finals berth. 

Bookies.com veteran oddsmaker Adam Thompson has updated his hypothetical NBA odds as to where Harden plays next season. 

James Harden 2024-25 Team Odds

TeamOddsImplied Probability
Los Angeles Clippers+30025.0%
New Orleans Pelicans+55015.4%
Milwaukee Bucks+60014.3%
Miami Heat+60014.3%
No Team/International Team+90010.0%
Phoenix Suns+10009.1%
Los Angeles Lakers+14006.7%
The Field+40020.0%

Odds are projected and do not reflect any odds that may be available on legal betting apps.

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From 2012 to 2020, Harden finished in the Top 10 in NBA MVP voting. He finished in the top three on four straight occasions, winning the statue in 2017-18. 

Things have fallen since the 2020-21 season, however. Harden has forced two trades and played for four teams in that span. All the seasons were declared major disappointments compared to the expectations. 

This past year in L.A., Harden averaged 16.6 points, 4.4 ppg less than last season and less than half his prime years. At age 35 for next season, does he still have enough in the tank to be a contributor for a title contender? 

The Clippers have publicly stated it is their "intent" to bring back both Harden and George and give another go this four-headed beast of playmakers. Leonard's injury issues derailed the playoff hopes this season. Last year, George missed the entire postseason in a first-round flameout. 

George has been offered contracts under the mix from the Clippers, which he's refused to sign. Harden might be more likely to return to cap-strapped Los Angeles. 

If he doesn't end up with the Clippers, other teams should be interested in a savvy point guard who can score, if even only for a season or two. 

The Phoenix Suns have reportedly had an interest in adding Harden. Letting Chris Paul go turned to be a move that didn't work. Devin Booker moved to point guard, but adding Harden, who last year led the NBA in assists, offers a massive new weapon alongside Booker and Kevin Durant (and, yes, Bradley Beal). Phoenix is in dire cap space as well, so any major move may require a corresponding move. With Beal owning a no-trade clause, it could mean Durant or Booker gets shipped to bring Harden on. That makes everything seems less likely. 

The Orlando Magic have cash to spend, but point guard isn't one of the major factors. What about other teams with high-paid PGs in a sign-and-trade? That might be a best-case spot for several teams. 

It includes the Milwaukee Bucks, whose first season with Damian Lillard ended in a shrug. Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the playoffs, but even when they played together, the chemistry wasn't always right. CJ McCollum could face a similar scenario with the New Orleans Pelicans. A Harden-Zion tandem would be fun, if anything. 

The Miami Heat (still looking for a suitable partner for Jimmy Butler) and Chicago Bulls (DeMar DeRozan's contract is off the books) could make a play for Harden, too. If the Clippers would accept Tyler Herro in a trade package, Miami could be a place Harden flourishes. 

The Los Angeles Lakers brought back PG D'Angelo Russell, but he's inconsistent. L.A. could still certainly use a ball-handler and a sharp-shooter the caliber of Harden. Harden checks both boxes better than anyone on the market. A trade keeps Harden to his preferred market. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.