But that doesn’t mean he views Brooklyn as a definite long-term destination.
Harden can become a free agent in 2022 if he opts out of the final year of his contract — and sources said Brooklyn represents a two-year play to win a title before deciding on the next steps in his career.
For nearly a decade, Harden has defined the Rockets’ identity – for better (15 playoff series in eight years) or worse.
It’d be wise of Harden to enter a new situation with eyes wide open. He earned the contractual right to enter 2022 free agency. He doesn’t owe any team anything beyond his contract.
That said, this would put even more pressure on the Nets if they add Harden. They’d have to impress him quickly or risk losing him. Consequently, maybe they should even offer Houston less in a trade as a result.
But that’s their problem. Harden is already putting Brooklyn in a massively advantageous position by angling for a trade there.
If he wants to explore free agency in two years, that’s certainly reasonable.