This recent NBA free agency was arguably the craziest one in league history. We saw so many stars make moves such as Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, and Al Horford. The biggest splash of all was Leonard deciding to leave the Raptors who he had just won his second championship with to go to the hometown LA Clippers. The Lakers were also on the table but ultimately decided to go to the Clips and get them to trade for Paul George which did happen.
It looks like George was one of the backup trade options for the Clippers as according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Sam Amick, the team inquired with the Rockets about trading for James Harden. Harden reportedly wasn’t available to be in these trade talks at all. Harden and Leonard would’ve been a crazy scoring threat but they still have that situation in George and Leonard. The report also stated that LA was interested in trading for the Wizards’ Bradley Beal but Washington didn’t have a mutual feeling about that move.
The Rockets ended up trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook from Oklahoma City. This move reunited Harden with Westbrook as they played together in OKC from 2009-2012 and went to an NBA Finals where they fell to the Heat in six games. Had Harden gone to LA, he would’ve been another hometown star playing in the Staples Center this upcoming season. Trading an MVP in Harden would’ve been a confusing move, especially considering the fact that the Warriors will be down next season with losing Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson’s torn ACL injury.