It seemed like all the dust had settled in the NBA ahead of the 2023-24 season. Then, right as teams were gearing up to start training camp, Damian Lillard was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in a move that sent ripple effects throughout the NBA. These ripple effects may still impact the Los Angeles Lakers deep into the season.
With the Lillard saga now over, James Harden is the only superstar who (currently) occupies the trade market. Harden’s relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers has soured quickly and it would be surprising if he lasts an entire season.
Most GMs would have already traded Harden and wiped their hands clean of the situation. The problem is that Harden has tanked his trade value and Daryl Morey has historically been stubborn with the trades he makes. If he is trading someone who he perceives to be a star then he has to get a star in return.
Right now that trade does not exist, but new doors could open and Morey’s standards could lower. That creates a situation in which surprise teams could enter the Harden trade front. Some think that the Lakers could be one of those surprise teams.
Lakers named a surprise trade candidate for James Harden.
Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report recently broke down five potential surprise teams that could trade for Harden and the Lake Show made the list. This wouldn’t happen any time soon, as the Lakers cannot trade their assets until mid-December.
Los Angeles does have the contracts to make a Harden trade work and Bailey broke down what the trade package would be built around. Since it is such a polarizing idea, we thought it was fitting to break down this proposed Harden trade and hand out potential grades for both teams if it were to happen.