Report James Harden Open To Trade Boosts 76ers Title Odds
Mark Strotman | 3 mins
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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that disgruntled All-Pro James Harden, who is currently holding out of Houston Rockets training camp, is open to a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers or other contenders.
And while the Rockets have made no indication that they intend on trading the former MVP and eight-time All-Star, sports betting sites believe he could be on the move and are bracing for a Harden-to-Philadelphia move. In the wake of Wojnarowski’s report, the 76ers’ title odds shifted from +2500 to +2000.
Reporting w/ @ESPN_MacMahon: James Harden has recently indicated to Houston he'd be open to a trade to Philadelphia or other contenders. So far, no substantive talks with Sixers. Daryl Morey's been adamant he wants to keep his two young stars. https://t.co/9ZFKB8MSGx— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 8, 2020
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Harden-Embiid Would Create East’s Best Duo
A deal that sends Harden to the 76ers would almost certainly need to include point guard Ben Simmons, so bettors should not be envisioning a three-headed All-Pro monster of Harden, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
More likely is Harden and Embiid teaming up with Tobias Harris, Danny Green, Seth Curry and Dwight Howard to form what would certainly be an NBA title contender. Though the 76ers have struggled in the postseason – they’ve won two playoff series since The Process began – they haven’t had a talent like Harden, and they also brought in head coach Doc Rivers to replace Brett Brown this offseason.
Harden and Embiid would be the East’s best 1-2 punch – and the league’s most talented duo behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis – making them an instant contender. If you believe Houston will actually deal with their old employee in Morey, and that Morey would give up a budding 24-year-old superstar in Simmons, their current title odds hold plenty of value.
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Nets, Other Contenders To Keep An Eye On
It seems Harden ultimately wants to wind up in Brooklyn to play with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, and the Nets would actually have plenty of assets to offer in a trade. While it would gut their depth, a trio of Durant-Irving-Harden becomes an all-time great group. Brooklyn’s title odds shortened slightly when Harden rumors first surfaced. The Nets are currently +600, and if they managed to trade for Harden, they’d likely surpass the Lakers as title favorites.
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Other contenders that, in theory, could make a Harden trade work include the Celtics (+1300), Heat (+1500) and Nuggets (+2000). For now, it appears the most likely outcome is Harden remaining in Houston – the Rockets have +6000 title odds – with John Wall, but things move quickly in the NBA. And so do NBA title odds.