James Harden is set to become a free agent this summer. In recent news, the current 76ers’ point guard has hinted at a potential return to the Rockets, but many other teams are in the hunt as well. If the 33-year-old does indeed opt out of his Philadelphia contract and enter free agency, we’ll break down which new jersey he may end up in.
James Harden Next Team Odds
|Los Angeles Clippers||+700|
|New York Knicks||+1000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+1000|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1600|
Odds as of Monday, May 15.
Will Harden Return To Houston?
All signs point to yes. In a recent tweet by NBA analyst Adrian Wojnarowski, Harden hinted at being ‘very serious’ about returning to his former team.
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 15, 2023
If this homecoming were to take place, Harden would have to decline his $36.5 million player option for next season with Philadelphia. Even though the 76ers do have a slight advantage over the competition with an extra $8 million to offer if Harden were to resign, it doesn’t seem like that will be enough following the Game 7 loss to the Celtics.
Could The Clippers Sneak Into the Mix?
Harden could arguably be a better fit alongside Kawhi Leonard than Paul George if he decided to sign with the Clippers. While Leonard and George are both exceptional, many of their skills overlap and make for a less-than-ideal combination. If Harden were to replace George, his ability as a primary ball-handler and playmaker could benefit Leonard’s finishing ability at the rim.
With the clock ticking on a title for the Clippers, a bold move to acquire Harden could be exactly what they need going into next season.
Will the Mavericks Make A Move?
The anxiety of losing Luka Doncic is definitely at the forefront of the Mavericks’ front office. If they make a play for Harden, it could potentially just be to prevent the Rockets from becoming a contender in an already-loaded Western Conference.
It would also be a nice addition so Doncic can feel comfortable about not making everything happen for the entire Mavs offense. If Harden could keep up his average of 20 points or more next season, we might see a completely different offense in Dallas that has all the potential to make a playoff run.