Author Topic: The Harden Gambit: Bring Him East & Send Him Back West in the Off-Season  (Read 937 times)

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Offline GreenlyGreeny

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TL; DR - The Harden Gambit: A team in the east can send out fewer assets for Harden at the 2021 deadline than the assets they can later get by shipping him back west in the 2021 off-season.

Letís say Houston is unable to move Harden to anybody in the eastómaybe he behaves even more like an egomaniac weíre all sick of, whoever that may in your life (and keep in mind itís obvious Houston are never going to trade Harden in the west since theyíd rather lose with Harden for two years, forcing him to be part of the rebuild, rather than get scorched by him more than 1-2 times per year).

Letís say itís the deadline and Houston comes to the Celtics with the offer below (and letís say Kemba is not yet in all-star form, but weíre more optimistic about his recovery than now hence Houston being willing to take him on with their plan being to ship out Wall in some separate deal that gets them picks to rebuild with):

To BOS: Harden

To HOU:

Walker
Langford
Nesmith

2022 1st round pick (lottery-protectedóstipulate that if it is a lottery pick, HOU gets 2022 2nd round pick not our 2023 1st)

2024 1st round pick (lottery-protectedóif it is a lottery pick, HOU gets 2025 2nd round pick not our 2025 1st)

If it leads to the 2020-2021 title, weíve won the trade and it was all worth it.

But what if we take this gamble and it does not work. Harden does not get along with Tatum and/or Brown, or whatever. Basically, we do not win the title or even make it to the 2021 NBA Finals. Not good, right? But letís not forget something: We can trade Harden back to the west in the off-season, and potentially get more than we gave out because Houston was unwilling to trade him in the west. For example, imagine if we flipped Harden to the Warriors for Wiseman and one or more of Draymond, Wiggins and/or Obrie (maybe with the TPE being used to help the Warriors with their luxury tax problems). Or imagine if we flipped him to the Trailblazers for McCollum and Nurkic. Or, and this would possibly be the best of them all, the Nuggets are willing to trade Murray for Harden and future picks.

Ladies and gentleman, the Harden Gambit: If Houston is desperate at the deadline, we can turn this into a title shot this year and/or flip him in the off-season for considerably better assets than we gave out by shipping him back west. And, who knows, there is possibly a sucker in the west on par with the 2013 Nets...
« Last Edit: January 08, 2021, 10:52:22 AM by GreenlyGreeny »

Re: Idea if Houston Becomes Desperate: The Harden Gambit
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2021, 10:20:18 AM »

Online Ogaju

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when bloggers can tell it is you just from the heading of your post it is probably time to let it go.

Re: Idea if Houston Becomes Desperate: The Harden Gambit
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2021, 10:21:13 AM »

Offline slamtheking

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how many "give the world up to get Harden" trades are you going to create?

no to Harden.  He's not going to be the piece that puts us over the top.  also don't need the prima donna attitude and the media circus that will come with him.  also doubt he sticks around - most likely he's out of here after his contract is up so now our cupboards of assets is really bare after this deal

Re: Idea if Houston Becomes Desperate: The Harden Gambit
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2021, 10:25:03 AM »

Offline GreenlyGreeny

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how many "give the world up to get Harden" trades are you going to create?

no to Harden.  He's not going to be the piece that puts us over the top.  also don't need the prima donna attitude and the media circus that will come with him.  also doubt he sticks around - most likely he's out of here after his contract is up so now our cupboards of assets is really bare after this deal

Give up the world? Did you not read the bottom where I mention flipping him to the west in the 2021 off-season if we do not win the 2021 title, in the process securing more than we sent out to Houston? This is the dynamic we are all overlooking: Houston refuses to trade him west, but thereís no reason why we cannot trade him back west if this title shot does not work. And boy is his stock low right now, but a playoff run in Boston will probably up his stock with the Warriors and Trailblazers.

Re: Idea if Houston Becomes Desperate: The Harden Gambit
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2021, 10:25:11 AM »

Offline Donoghus

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No...no...no.

No Harden.


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Re: Idea if Houston Becomes Desperate: The Harden Gambit
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2021, 10:30:50 AM »

Offline GreenlyGreeny

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No...no...no.

No Harden.

Even if we could turn him into Wiseman and one of Draymond, Wiggins and/or Obrie? Or into McCollum and Nurkic? Or maybe even Murray?

I think weíre all overlooking how teams in the west that have been constantly scorched by him would be willing to give us more in the 2021 off-season than what it would take for us to secure him before the upcoming deadline. This can become not just a 2021 title shot, but worst-case be an asset-building activity. There could be a team in the west as silly as the 2013 Nets, frankly. If nobody in the east is willing to trade a young star for Harden and Houston is willing to take Kemba and minor assets rather than trade him within the western conference, why not take the gamble? Itís low-risk/high-reward, frankly.

Re: Idea if Houston Becomes Desperate: The Harden Gambit
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2021, 10:33:56 AM »

Online Birdman

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We donít need Harden..get Walker healthy and add a good vet off the bench and we be alright
C/PF-Horford, Baynes, Noel, Theis, Morris,
SF/SG- Tatum, Brown, Hayward, Smart, Semi, Clark
PG- Irving, Rozier, Larkin

Re: Idea if Houston Becomes Desperate: The Harden Gambit
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2021, 10:35:40 AM »

Offline GreenlyGreeny

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when bloggers can tell it is you just from the heading of your post it is probably time to let it go.

I swear this time is different: It never clicked for me, and everyone else in the east is seemingly overlooking this, but Houston is being stupidly stubborn not trading him in the west, where heís more valued because they get scorched by him consistently throughout the year whereas we only see him in the east 1-2 games per year. We can flip Harden in the 2021 off-season back to the west and get more than we sent out to bring him east (and beforehand it gives us a potential title shot this year).

Re: Idea if Houston Becomes Desperate: The Harden Gambit
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2021, 10:50:10 AM »

Offline Donoghus

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No...no...no.

No Harden.

Even if we could turn him into Wiseman and one of Draymond, Wiggins and/or Obrie? Or into McCollum and Nurkic? Or maybe even Murray?

I think weíre all overlooking how teams in the west that have been constantly scorched by him would be willing to give us more in the 2021 off-season than what it would take for us to secure him before the upcoming deadline. This can become not just a 2021 title shot, but worst-case be an asset-building activity. There could be a team in the west as silly as the 2013 Nets, frankly. If nobody in the east is willing to trade a young star for Harden and Houston is willing to take Kemba and minor assets rather than trade him within the western conference, why not take the gamble? Itís low-risk/high-reward, frankly.

No.


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Re: Idea if Houston Becomes Desperate: The Harden Gambit
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2021, 10:54:09 AM »

Offline GreenlyGreeny

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No...no...no.

No Harden.

Even if we could turn him into Wiseman and one of Draymond, Wiggins and/or Obrie? Or into McCollum and Nurkic? Or maybe even Murray?

I think weíre all overlooking how teams in the west that have been constantly scorched by him would be willing to give us more in the 2021 off-season than what it would take for us to secure him before the upcoming deadline. This can become not just a 2021 title shot, but worst-case be an asset-building activity. There could be a team in the west as silly as the 2013 Nets, frankly. If nobody in the east is willing to trade a young star for Harden and Houston is willing to take Kemba and minor assets rather than trade him within the western conference, why not take the gamble? Itís low-risk/high-reward, frankly.

No.

What if another team in the east plays the Harden gambit and during the off-season finds a sucker in the west whoís on par with the front office of the 2013 Nets?

Re: The Harden Gambit: Bring Him East & Send Him Back West in the Off-Season
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2021, 11:50:40 AM »

Offline johnnygreen

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I understand where youíre coming from with this idea. However, youíre assuming teams out in the West want Harden now, but are simply being denied by Houston. You are also assuming, the teams out West will give up all star players to acquire him. Your trade proposal to acquire him by the Celtics includes a max player in Walker and a second year player, both of whom are seemingly more in street clothes on the bench than actually playing. And the other guy is a rookie that barely finds player time on a team riddled with injuries. Then you also want to add in basically two worthless first round picks.

If the Celtics donít win the title, how do you think it will look around the league, if the team is suddenly willing to trade Harden after having him for less than one non-full season? You donít think red flags will be raised by every GM and team in the league? The only trade proposals back to the Celtics will be worse than the what the Celtics gave up to get him in your trade idea.

I use to be totally against trading for Harden, however, I have come around this past offseason. I just donít think the team has the right pieces to acquire him, especially with the massive jump Brown has taken this season. Both Tatum and Brown are each more valuable to the Celtics, especially after signing their recent contracts, than maybe 2-3 years of a 31 year old Harden. I donít think Houston would want anyone else on the Celtics, unless they became desperate. Speaking of which, with fans not attending games, Houston doesnít have to worry about the crowd booing Harden during home games and making the team look bad (New Orleans and Anthony Davis comes to mind). So from Houstonís point of view, I can see why they think they can wait for the best offer, especially since Harden doesnít want to ruin his reputation as a top notch offensive player and will still need to play his best.

Re: The Harden Gambit: Bring Him East & Send Him Back West in the Off-Season
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2021, 12:44:40 PM »

Offline 18isGREATERthan72

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The same logic of teams in the East buying him for a discount knowing that the Rockets don't want to trade him to a Western team could be applied next year when those same Western teams know that we wouldn't want to trade him to an Eastern team.  The only drawback now, is he has one less year on his contract, therefore one less year of value worth trading for.

In the world of options trading, this would be referred to as theta decay, and it's a very silly thing to bet against.

Re: The Harden Gambit: Bring Him East & Send Him Back West in the Off-Season
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2021, 04:11:58 PM »

Offline JAH1892

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On those terms...Yep, heís top 10 in the league

Re: The Harden Gambit: Bring Him East & Send Him Back West in the Off-Season
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2021, 04:23:40 AM »

Offline GreenlyGreeny

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The same logic of teams in the East buying him for a discount knowing that the Rockets don't want to trade him to a Western team could be applied next year when those same Western teams know that we wouldn't want to trade him to an Eastern team.  The only drawback now, is he has one less year on his contract, therefore one less year of value worth trading for.

In the world of options trading, this would be referred to as theta decay, and it's a very silly thing to bet against.

Disagree on this being a theta decay:

1) The west is clearly more stacked than the east in terms of talent. You are assuming both conferences are equally talented, but we all know that is not true.

2) In addition, there are players in the west that Harden would like to play with and their teams would like to make a deal to get him in return for giving up valuable pieces. Harden would be willing to extend with these teams to play alongside certain players in the west, so it is not true of all western teams they would only be getting one year therefore he is one year less valuable, as you put it. The issue is Houston being hell bent on shipping him east. Their refusal to keep him in the west is potentially creating this unique trading opportunity.

3) Furthermore, unlike Houston where the situation is completely broken and there is no hope of a title run, we have the option of him playing out his contract in a contract year as another title push with him having a strong incentive to be all-NBA 1st team if he wants to opt-out and get a max deal elsewhere. Similarly, we would be willing to forgo that in return for comparable talent that gives us additional title shots in the future, so it will not seem odd (especially given what happened with Kyrie) for us to ship him back west if he is unwilling to agree to an extension with us. The west will not bat an eye at it, frankly (indeed, Danny is uniquely positioned to play the Harden Gambit because all of the western GMs will go ďDanny is being Trader Danny againĒ).

4) Finally, there are the salary cap constraints at play (e.g., the Warriors would have an incredible incentive to take on Harden and give us pieces in combination with our TPE in order to lower their tax burden while making multiple future runs with Curry, Harden and Klay as the new splash bros.; the Clippers would likely give up George for Harden if it would be coupled with extensions by both Kawhi and Harden; the Nuggets may be intrigued by a year of Jokic and Harden in return for Murray so long as we add unprotected picks to the deal to compensate for the likelihood of Harden opting-out after a one-and-done run; the Jazz may be intrigued by one year of Harden/Mitchell in return for giving up The Steiffel Tower; etc.)

Mark my words: If Houston gets desperate and remains firm on shipping him east, a smart team in the east is going to play the Harden Gambit and either win it all in 2021 and/or flip Harden for a coveted western asset(s) on a longer-term deal(s). The move may end up being the 2013 Nets trade and/or Raptors/Kawhi deal of the 2020s. We would be utterly foolish to not jump on this.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2021, 04:48:39 AM by GreenlyGreeny »