NBA Trade Rumors: Knicks had initial interest in splash move for James Harden?

Philadelphia 76ers James Harden (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers James Harden (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: The New York Knicks had initial interest in James Harden and held trade talks with the Philadelphia 76ers.

James Harden made waves at the start of the NBA offseason when he decided to opt into the final year of his contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. The reported “agreement” between Harden and the Sixers was that they would work together to find a trade.

However, that has yet to happen. It’s been more than two months since the original trade demand and there doesn’t appear any progress on such a deal. In fact, things have gotten pretty ugly between Harden and the Sixers. Harden wants to find his way to the LA Clippers, his preferred landing spot, but there was one other team that had some interest earlier on in the offseason.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the New York Knicks had initial interest in Harden and had some conversations with the Sixers about a possible trade. In the end, as you would expect, it didn’t lead anywhere. However, it is something to keep an eye on. And you can’t help but wonder if New York would be willing to revisit their previous interest.

Would the New York Knicks circle back on their initial trade interest?

It’s an interesting thought, to say the least. The Knicks are an ideal spot for a superstar. If they were to add a star player between now and the start of the offseason, the Knicks would be viewed as a legitimate threat to win the Eastern Conference. The big question, of course, is whether Harden would be considered the right player to target.

Assuming this report is accurate, the Knicks at the very least explored the idea of adding Harden. In a vacuum, this is a pairing that would make sense. Harden is a playmaking guard who would be a great complement to Jalen Brunson.

Take the drama aside, Harden is the exact talent that could help take the Knicks to the next level. However, you can’t really take on Harden without his baggage at this point in his career. That’s probably the biggest reason why the Knicks decided to back away from trade talks.

But if the market for Harden continues to be underwhelming, it would be interesting to see if New York would be willing to revisit those talks.

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However, at this point, the Knicks would probably be more willing to wait to see if Joel Embiid becomes available at some point over the next calendar year.