The Houston Rockets are "sifting through" trade offers for James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers and a final deal "could culminate quickly" according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic.
According to Charania and Amick, the situation between Harden and the Rockets is "reaching a breaking point and a deal appears all but inevitable."
Rumours about Harden wanting out of Houston began in early December when he was late reporting to training camp. After passing through COVID-19 protocols, Harden was able to join his teammates for the start of the regular season which has so far been disappointing for the 3-6 Rockets.
After Tuesday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Harden opened up about this trade request, saying his relationship with the team is "something that I don't think can be fixed."
Harden was absent from practice on Wednesday with head coach Stephen Silas saying "We felt that it was best for the group and best for James not to come to practice." ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelbourne report that the Rockets are planning to keep Harden away from the team until a trade is completed.
Putting together a trade for Harden has proven difficult for interested teams due to his super-max contract and desire to join a contending team such as the Nets, 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks or Miami Heat. The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors have also "expressed interest" in a trade, but the focus for now appears to be between Brooklyn and Philadelphia, according to Charania and Amick.
Charania and Amick report the Nets have put together a trade offer that includes four future first-round picks and three future pick swaps, a near-historic amount of draft capital that would put the team directly in win-now mode with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The 76ers, according to Charania and Amick, have discussed trade packages involving 2019 first-round pick Matisse Thybulle but have yet to commit to including star guard Ben Simmons. It is unclear how many first-round picks the 76ers are comfortable including in a trade.