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Can trading Harden now, for less than Harden was then, make sense?


#This is not a serious trade speculation piece. #This is not even a silly trade speculation piece.

I’d vastly prefer #Killer #James #Harden just give it a year with the #John #Wall, #Boogie #Cousins, #Potentially #Good #Eric #Gordon, #Christian #Wood, 6’5” #Assault #Team, #Rockets.

#Part of the reason is that I believe I have invested too much of my life into defending #James #Harden. #He’s like having a brilliant, but controversial, child, in some ways. I KNOW he’s great. I can PROVE he’s great, and if you don’t think so, it’s some sort of personal problem, or axe to grind on your part. #That’s how parenting goes.

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I cite as evidence in my favor just how superb #James #Harden suddenly became when the national media realized he might soon be playing for a team they liked more. #Oh, so NOW he’s good, and every compliment isn’t a backhanded one? I see. The problem was #Houston all along?

#So there’s that.

Then there’s a more analytical problem. #All the possible trade pieces.

#All of them clearly aren’t as good as #Harden is right now, because almost no one is.

#That’s to be expected, but if you’re trying to get value for #Harden, what do you do with “Young #Super #Stars” when they aren’t as good as #Harden was AT THE SAME AGE?

#James #Harden wasn’t a stick of dynamite that suddenly exploded when he was unleashed on the #Rockets. #It might seem that way, but he was in fact, really good, beforehand. #What he got with the #Rockets was far higher usage, in a far larger role, than being the third wheel to #Russell #Westbrook and #Kevin #Durant. (1)

#James #Harden was better than all the potential trade targets at the same age.

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#Let’s look at the three players who seem like they might be worthwhile trades for #Harden.

I’m going to ignore packages of players that seem like 5 nickels for a quarter. #It may add up, but you can only play five guys at a time. The marginal value of one of those guys being #James #Harden, instead of one fifth of #James #Harden, is clearly immense.

There aren’t many young players of value even mentioned in trade speculation, because the idea that the future will be far better than the present is a strong one. A young player MIGHT outdo #James #Harden in the future (he almost certainly won’t), but he MIGHT, so his value must be high.

I’ll use #Basketball #Reference’s VORP (value over replacement level player) for this piece, as it makes same age comparisons easy, and one number. There are, of course, other stats and metrics, that are more, and less, favorable than this one. #It’s really just to make a point that even at same age valuations, #Harden was better.

There are only three players that seem worth considering being bruited about.

#Ben #Simmons

#Ben #Simmons has seen his VORP actually decline since he entered the league (after the usual 76er year plus off due to injury/forgetting how to play basketball, for rookies). #Simmons just had his age 24 season, a season where star players start showing real value above their peers, typically. #Simmons notched a VORP of 2.8, down from the staggering 4.5 of his rookie season.

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#Simmons – age 24 – 2.8 VORP.

#What was #James #Harden doing at age 24, in his second season for the #Rockets? 4.5 VORP.

#So, it’s neat that #Simmons is 6’10” PG who can’t shoot, but defends well. #He’s unique. #He wasn’t better than #Harden at the same age, however. #He wasn’t even better at 24 than #Harden age 22, in OKC, in the sixth man role (3.1 VORP). #Simmons is meant to be a marquee star, but this metric, at least, doesn’t see it.

#Michael #Porter #Jr.

#Another very tall, very promising, young player with early, seasoning cancelling, back problems. #We don’t really have a full season of play for MPJ, and despite him taking “wisdom” from bizarre corners of the internet, he’s an intriguing player. There’s a lot to dream on with him, at only 22.

#He’s still not what #James #Harden was, but he’s young enough that he might be.

#Still, age 21 seasons, a breakout for #Porter #Jr. in that he actually played basketball, saw him lodge a VORP of 0.8.

#Harden, age 21? 2.2.

#Of course, it’s possible that none of this matter. #Health is important. #Staying on the court is where value is accumulated, not in highlight reels, or amazing plays nobody else could do.

#It could be that MPJ never gets the usage to blossom in #Denver, that there’s a #Harden type bloom waiting, but it should be noted, #Harden fills the stats in nearly every category, because he acts a point guard. MPJ will need someone to pass to him, like #Nikola #Jokic.

#Tyler #Herro

#What a great story. #What an interesting player. #Promising skills. #Fun.

#Not particularly close to #Harden at the same age, despite a nice #Bubble.

0.1 VORP for #Herro, 1.1 for #Harden at age 20.

#Maybe #Jaylen #Brown is in play. #If so, he’s not as good on a same age comparison basis, either. #Jason #Tatum IS comparable, but no one seems eager to trade him in #Boston.

#It could be the #Rockets have their hands forced, and they have to make the best of the situation. #If they do, though, don’t expect another #James #Harden. #Odds are he’s a generational player, and even actual stars, instead of potential ones, look mundane in comparison. #That’s why trying to keep #Harden going forward, if possible, is still the best move.

#Drama is everywhere, but true greatness is rare.

#Poll

#Going forward?

  • 60%

    #Stay The #Course.

    (213 votes)

  • 17%

    #Take #What #You #Can #Get.

    (60 votes)

  • 22%

    #Luka or no one.

    (77 votes)


350 votes total

#Vote #Now

(1)- #Why #Harden thinks he wants to play with #Durant, after playing with #Westbrook, now that he’s a one man supernova, escapes me. #You can’t go home again. A creator like #John #Wall, who can help with the on-ball duties is probably a better fit, except for #Durant being a supernova of his own.

There’s another interesting piece here. 2020-21 might be the year the league changed as regards #Achilles injuries. #Yes, the superduper stars like #Durant, could be like #Dominique #Wilkins, that is, just so talented he’s good anyway, on 1 12 legs, but what about #David #Nwaba looking springy?)



[ source link ]
https://www.thedreamshake.com/houston-rockets-nba-trade-rumors/2020/12/30/22203542/can-trading-harden-now-for-less-than-harden-was-then-make-sense

#trading ##Harden ##Harden #sense

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