NBA News Trade Edition: Harden leaving Philly? DeRozan giving Bulls notice? More.

James Harden, Philadelphia (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
James Harden, Philadelphia (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Good morning, Hoops Heads! Here’s the latest NBA news from around the league.

NBA News: James Harden back to Houston?

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. After Chris B. Haynes reported that 76ers guard James Harden might consider returning to Houston next offseason, few took notice. However, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also expressed the same sentiment with his Christmas morning tweet that set NBA Twitter ablaze.

The thought of Harden returning to Houston brings up a number of interesting questions. For starters, is Harden unhappy in Philadelphia? Or is he really pining to go back to Houston? For that matter, would Houston welcome him back after he forced his way out?

The answer to the last question would probably be yes. They have a nice group of young players, but they are still the third-worst team in the NBA. Imagine them drafting Victor Wembanyama, then later signing Harden in the same off-season. Then pair them with Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr., giving the Rockets one of the best young cores in the NBA in addition to Harden.

That combination of young talent paired with an all-time great would be fascinating, and they may even be good enough to make the playoffs next season. Thus, Harden, who, granted, isn’t the same player he was when he left but is still very good, should be welcomed back if he wants to return.

Meanwhile, the 76ers losing Harden for nothing would be a gut punch after trading Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, Seth Curry, and two firsts for him. They could trade him, but, then again, that would hurt their title chances this season.

They’d obviously still have Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, but that might not be enough to beat the Bucks and Celtics. The Harden situation is definitely something to keep an eye on going forward.

NBA News: DeMar DeRozan giving the Bulls notice?

Things haven’t gone well for the Chicago Bulls thus far, and reports of chemistry issues between Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan don’t help matters. That’s led to speculation that the Bulls may decide to blow up the roster before the trade deadline, and there’s one possible trade that would get the ball rolling.

Meanwhile, according to Chris B. Haynes, DeRozan will consider asking for a trade in the summer. That report puts more pressure on the Bulls to consider making drastic moves. Despite a three-game winning streak, they don’t appear any closer to figuring things out and they have limited ways to improve.

If they can’t improve, they could miss the playoffs and then have DeRozan demand a trade. Factoring in that the Orlando Magic own their pick (the top four are protected), the Bulls have the incentive to be as bad as possible this season to keep that selection.

DeRozan still has plenty of value, so trading him sooner could net them at least one first-round pick and more for LaVine, in addition to potentially keeping their own pick. With only about 40 days until the trade deadline, the longer they wait to make a move, the more they risk losing.

NBA News: Knicks considering trading for Tobias Harris.

Despite the New York Knicks losing to the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas Day, they may be considering trading with them. According to Ian Bagley, the Knicks have discussed trading for Tobias Harris.

The Knicks have enough salary filler to take back Harris and his $37.6 million salary in a trade. However, it’s unclear if the 76ers would take a trade package that would likely include Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, Cam Reddish, and a first-round pick. While Harris is definitely overpaid, none of those players are as good as him. Not to mention, all three are out of the Knicks’ rotation, suggesting that they wouldn’t help the 76ers much.

Next. Are the Knicks gearing up for a major trade?. dark

The Knicks do have other trade options, however, including this potential blockbuster, so the odds they make a move seem fairly high. That’s all for now, Hoops heads!