Harden reinforced trade desire

“Privately, Harden knows the team as currently constructed can’t defeat the Lakers in a seven-game series, a reality that only further cements desires for a move elsewhere,” Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported.

Iko also noted Harden’s “desires for a trade were reinforced” after Sunday’s 120-102 loss to the Lakers.

Harden post game after loss to the Lakers

“We’re not even close, honestly, to that team—obviously the defending champions—and all the other elite teams out there,” Harden added, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games.

“We’re just not good enough—chemistry, talent-wise, just everything. And it was clear these last two games.”

Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported Harden’s breaking point came as back-to-back losses to the defending champs confirmed his belief the Rockets could not compete with the top teams in the Western Conference. His preference remains a trade to the Brooklyn Nets.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic added insight to what that potential trade may look like, with one executive saying he believes Kyrie Irving would have to be part of the deal. Most assumed the Nets’ package would include a group of their young players like Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, along with draft picks. via BleacherReport

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