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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Atlanta Hawks
James Harden, Atlanta HAwks (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Hawks questions: Does the Eastern Conference strengthen if James Harden moves?

Right now, there is not much parity between conferences in the NBA. After LeBron James left for the Los Angeles Lakers, he made the already brutal Western Conference even stronger.

There’s a good chance that a very good team in the West will land at nine and not make the playoffs next year.

If Harden is to leave the Rockets for the East, that certainly widens things slightly in the West while restoring some semblance of parity for the league by strengthening the Eastern Conference.

Whether or not it impacts the Hawks heavily will depend on where in the East he lands. If he lands on an already likely playoff team like the Nets, it won’t impact them too much. But if he lands on a fringe playoff team, like say, the Bulls, Magic, or Cavaliers, that’s one more team that the Hawks might be battling for the seventh of eighth seed.

I’ll toss in that it’s hard to imagine him landing on a fringe playoff team in the East, but who knows?

The most likely scenario at this point is probably that Harden stays in Houston or is traded to a team already in the lock for a playoff position. For the Hawks, that’s good. It gives them a chance to compete for the playoffs in the East this year and hopefully get back to the postseason for the first time since 2017.