NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Jrue Holiday, James Harden, More

NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Jrue Holiday, James Harden, More

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    By the time the NBA trade window officially opened Monday, a pair of big-name trades were already in the works.

    The Los Angeles Lakers will add to their championship roster with the arrival of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder in exchange for Danny Green and the No. 28 pick in Wednesday’s draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

    Elsewhere, the Phoenix Suns took the next step when they added Thunder stars Chris Paul and Abdel Nader in a deal that sent Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque to Oklahoma City. 

    As Wednesday’s draft and the start of the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22 inch closer, there are plenty of other major trade rumors that are worth keeping an eye on, including the latest buzz on Jrue Holiday, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. 

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    Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

    The Milwaukee Bucks are acquiring Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

    In return, New Orleans will receive Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and draft-pick compensation, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting the Pelicans will get three future first-round picks. The Pelicans will also have the No. 24 overall pick in Wednesday’s draft as part of the deal, per David Aldridge of The Athletic.

    Wojnarowski also noted that pick swaps will be involved in the deal.

    This move comes after Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News reported Monday that the Dallas Mavericks weren’t in the running to land Holiday because the Pelicans were “determined” to send him to the Eastern Conference in any trade.

    Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported Sunday that the Denver Nuggets were being viewed as a strong threat to land the 30-year-old. 

    However, it appears the Bucks have won the race for Holiday, who is coming off a season in which he averaged 19.1 points per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field, including 35.3 percent from three-point range.

    His presence in Milwaukee should also help take some of the attention off Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

    Holiday is owed $25.4 million this upcoming season and holds a $26.3 million player option for 2021-22.

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne and Zach Lowe of ESPN, Houston Rockets general manger Rafael Stone has been saying he’s ready to “run it back” with James Harden leading the way, but the 31-year-old star could be on the move.

    “Harden has been increasingly uneasy about the Rockets’ ability to compete for an NBA title and has been considering the possibility of pushing to play elsewhere before his contract expires, sources said,” they wrote.

    On Monday night, Wojnarowski reported Harden rejected a two-year, $103 million extension to stay in Houston, a deal that would have made him the first player to be paid $50 million in a season, making his intentions clear.

    The No. 3 overall pick in the 2009 draft, he paced the league for the third consecutive season with 34.3 points per game while adding 7.5 assists and 6.6 rebounds. He’ll collect $131.5 million over the next three seasons, with a player option worth $46.9 million for the 2022-23 season.

    If Harden were to pack up, ESPN reported the Brooklyn Nets are his top destination, with the Arizona State product enticed by the possibility of joining forces with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

    While there had been no official trade discussions between the two teams as of Sunday, the report noted Durant and Harden—who played together in Oklahoma City—”have recently discussed the possibility.”

    Per ESPN, the Rockets have “made it clear” that the price tag for their superstar “would require a monstrous return of players, draft picks and pick swaps,” and the Nets could meet that criteria with up-and-coming talent in players like Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie. 

    For all the trade talks, though, Kelly Iko, Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic have reported that Harden is staying put in Houston and is “locked in” for the season. 

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Despite conflicting reports on his Rockets teammate, Russell Westbrook has made his intentions clear. 

    Charania reported last week that after one year in Houston, the 32-year-old “wants out.” But with a hefty contract—$131 million over three seasons—”the market will be extremely limited” for the nine-time All-NBA honoree, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix.

    Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer corroborated that report Monday. After previously noting the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks were interested in pursuing Westbrook, he reported interest in the player is “minimal.”

    “Most teams don’t need a starting point guard,” he wrote. “And every team is scared off by Westbrook’s bloated contract (worth $44.2 million annually for the next three seasons), injury history, and polarizing playing style. At his best, he’s a fantastic playmaker who pushes pace in ways that few players can. But there isn’t a long line of teams scurrying to trade for an expensive, ball-dominant 32-year-old.”

    According to O’Connor, Michael Jordan is doing his best to obtain Westbrook in an effort to boost interest in his Charlotte Hornets franchise, and while they hold a major piece of a potential trade offer with the third overall pick on Wednesday night, they’re not willing to part with it for Westbrook, who posted 27.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game with a career-high 47.2 field-goal percentage last season.

    It’s a difficult situation for the Rockets who gave up everything to lure Westbrook from the Thunder—two first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, future swaps in 2021 and 2025, and Chris Paul. But now the future of the Rockets’ top stars is murky, amid reports that neither Harden nor Westbrook wants to stick around.

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