Sixers expected to pursue trade for Rockets star Harden

Rockets shooting guard James harden looks to make a move during a game against the Knicks.

The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to have an interest in trading for Houston Rockets star James Harden, according to Shams Charania of Stadium.

This wouldn’t necessarily be a huge surprise, as new Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey spent the previous 13 seasons as GM of the Rockets. Morey has been very open about his love of Harden.

That said, Charania added that dealing Harden is not something the Rockets intend to do, labeling any trade talks involving the high-scoring guard as a “non-starter.”

But Morey was replaced in Houston by former assistant GM Rafael Stone, so he and Morey have a history of working together. Given Morey’s propensity to shake up the roster, perhaps a Harden conversation can eventually take place.

It could also work against Morey, as noted by Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors.

“Stone was a longtime Morey lieutenant in the Rockets’ front office, so this isn’t a case of an outside executive coming in and wanting to reshape a roster based on his philosophies — Stone’s vision likely isn’t too dissimilar to Morey’s,” Adams wrote.

Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta also recently said there are no plans to make major changes to the roster. Moving Harden would undoubtedly fall under that category.

“You have James Harden and Russell Westbrook and you have almost 90 percent of your salaries tied up in them and Eric Gordon,” Fertitta told CNBC. “But anytime you have players like Eric, P.J. (Tucker), James and Russell, there’s no reason to blow up your roster.”

Along with the GM change, the Rockets have changed coaches. Mike D’Antoni stepped down after four seasons and has been replaced by former Dallas Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas.

Those may be all the changes the Rockets need — for now, anyway.

“This is still our window, the next couple years. James and Russell are in their early 30s. We’re not blowing up anything,” Fertitta said. “We plan on contending. I always said you want to set yourself up to be one of the top four teams in your conference each year and then it takes a little luck to win. You look at every year it always takes a little luck.

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and

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