Atlanta Hawks: How would James Harden trade impact the team, Trae Young?

James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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James Harden, Atlanta Hawks
James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

If the Houston Rockets were to trade James Harden, how would it impact the Atlanta Hawks?

James Harden won’t be traded to the Atlanta Hawks. Let’s just get that out of the way at the top.

There is no scenario in which Harden is moved to Atlanta without Trae Young involved, and the Hawks are committed to building around him for the future.

But anytime a star player like Harden is traded, it has cascading impacts across the league.

If you don’t know what’s going on in Houston, the too long, didn’t read explanation is that Harden has not shown up for training camp and is not M.I.A., he was busy partying in Las Vegas. Yeah, during a pandemic.

Some are taking it as a sign that he wants out of Houston. Mike D’Antoni is gone as head coach (Stephen Silas is a first-year head coach taking over), Daryl Morey stepped down from management, and Russell Westbrook was traded. Harden reportedly would like to play in Brooklyn.

Atlanta Hawks questions: Where will James Harden go next?

This is the big question, and one we’ll figure out over the coming days, weeks, and maybe even months. At this point, James Harden has not shown up to Houston for training camp.

A no-call, no-show is bad. It’s an indicator that Harden might be willing to sit out, an uncommon tactic for a star with a contract of this magnitude, until he is traded.

It’s hard to enivision Harden sitting out further than the preseason, and even that is a stretch. Whether or not a trade is in the works, I would expect him to show up to camp soon whether it be in Houston or wherever they might send him (if a deal is currently on the table, unbeknownst to the general public).

If he’s in Houston, obviously not much changes from last year. Yes, Russell Westbrook is in Washington now, and a healthy John Wall might be a better fit next to Harden, but the difference between the two is probably negligible.

If he goes to another team, there will be a world of changes for the Hawks and teams around the league. The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly his desired destination, looking to team up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Let’s take a look at how a Harden trade would impact the Hawks (with an emphasis on how it impacts Trae Young).