After the 2020 offseason officially started, several crazy trade ideas have started surfacing in the NBA. These include the three-way blockbuster deal that would send James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers and Paul George to the Brooklyn Nets. In the proposed trade scenario by Ryan Snellings of Fansided’s Clipperholics, the Clippers will receive Harden, the Nets will get George, and the Houston Rockets will acquire Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Landy Shamet, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-round pick.
With the drama surrounding George’s first year in Los Angeles, the suggested three-team blockbuster would make a lot of sense for the Clippers. Aside from helping them lessen the tension in their locker room, the potential deal would allow them to replace George with an MVP caliber player like Harden. Pairing Harden with Leonard would undoubtedly give the Clippers a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2020-21 NBA season.
“While George is obviously the better defender of the two, Harden’s offensive game is unmatched,” Snellings wrote. “He also adds something the Clippers desperately need – playmaking. With his ability to create offense both for himself and others, the Clippers would be extremely tough to guard. Kawhi would be the best player that Harden has ever played with outside of maybe Kevin Durant (but he wasn’t at his peak with Harden as a teammate).”
The proposed three-way deal would not only be beneficial for the Clippers, but also for the Nets and the Rockets. For the Nets, George would finally give them the third superstar that they are eyeing to pair with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant next season. George may have gone through plenty of ups and downs last year, but he remains one of the best two-way players in the league.
Once George, Irving, and Durant find the perfect chemistry, even the Eastern Conference champions Miami Heat may have a hard time beating the Nets in a best-of-seven series if they meet each other in the 2021 Playoffs. Meanwhile, the hypothetical blockbuster would make sense for the Rockets if they already want to move on from Harden and plan to undergo a full-scale rebuild.
It would enable them to acquire three young and promising players and two future draft picks that would help them speed up the rebuilding process. LeVert, Allen, and Shamet could form the core of the next title-contending team that the Rockets will try to build in the post-Harden era.