2. It weakens the Western Conference
I know that a John Wall-James Harden Houston Rockets team is not the most intimidating and that the Los Angeles Lakers would be favored in a seven-game series. However, at the end of the day, James Harden is still an MVP-caliber player that can make magic happen in the right situation.
Him getting traded from the Houston Rockets is going to take another potential playoff team out of the mix, creating one fewer team for the Lakers to worry about. The Rockets may not be the biggest competition, but they are still playoff competition nonetheless.
One of two things is likely going to happen if Harden gets traded. Either he will get traded to the Eastern Conference and the Lakers would only have to worry about him if he makes the NBA Finals, or he will be traded to a subpar Western Conference team.
I find it highly unlikely that the Rockets would trade Harden to a contending Western Conference team. Sure, the idea of putting him in Golden State is fun, but are the Rockets really going to help the team that stopped them just short of winning the title multiple times?
There are not really that many Western Conference teams with assets, either. The only team that probably actually has the assets is New Orleans, and that asset is Zion Williamson, which absolutely is not going to happen.
One less team to worry about in the NBA Finals. That is nothing but a good thing for the Los Angeles Lakers.