Looking to take a step forward
These teams all want to be better and could need a point guard.
9. Houston Rockets
The Rockets were most closely linked to James Harden before he opted in on his $35.6 million salary for this season. Houston signed Fred VanVleet in free agency, but they may look to upgrade before the deadline if things are not going as planned. Harden would welcome a return to Space City, but it is unlikely at this moment.
8. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors need to pick a lane this season. Fred VanVleet departed in free agency, and Toronto was quick to sign Dennis Schroder to replace him. If they plan on contending, the Raptors could look to acquire a lead ball-handler and playmaker. Toronto might blow things up too. Much will depend on how the franchise begins the season.
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City made a 16-win improvement last season to reach the Play-In Tournament. Their young roster is loaded with talent, and the Thunder have a ton of draft capital. They could take a swing on a star, but James Harden is an awkward fit given his age and play style.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves are still exploring the fit between Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns. If they decide it does not work, Minnesota will have a star to trade and a need at point guard. Does Harden fit with Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert? Consider it questionable at best, but stranger things have happened.