Toronto Raptors: Potential trades that make the Raptors Eastern Conference elites

James Harden (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
James Harden (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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James Harden wants to play for a contender.

Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry and James Harden(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

James Harden appears unwilling to resolve whatever issues exist between the Houston Rockets’ ownership/management and himself. He turned down a contract extension worth over 50 million a year.

Then, there were reports he wanted to be traded to a contending team like the Brooklyn Nets. He apparently has expanded that list to include other contenders like the Philadelphia 76ers, but it’s not clear if Toronto would fit Harden’s desires.

More importantly, it is what the Houston Rockets will want in return. according to

"“The Rockets have made it clear that if they are to deal Harden, they will want a king’s ransom in return, including a young star player as well as multiple future draft picks and swaps”."

A trade sending James Harden to Toronto for Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, and OG Anunoby plus 2 future first-round picks could set the process in motion. The Raptors would assume Harden’s 41 million in salary but shed over 45 million, freeing up over four million more in cap space for the summer of 2021.

Now that the dream scenario of signing Giannis Antetokounmpo has dissipated with him signing a supermax deal with Milwaukee for 228.2 million over five years, James Harden would be an equally elite player to target. He is a former league MVP in 2018 and has averaged 30 plus points per game each of his last three seasons in the NBA.

This deal would also delete two guards from the roster while bringing back one who happens to be one of the greatest scorers at the moment in the NBA.