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#pounditWednesday, January 20, 2021

Odds for where James Harden will begin season are a bit surprising

James Harden

James Harden has asked the Houston Rockets to trade him, but he does not exactly have a ton of leverage to force a move. Despite that, Las Vegas oddsmakers seem to think there is a decent chance the Rockets will grant the eight-time All-Star his wish in the near future.

OddsShark released updated odds on Wednesday for which team Harden will be playing for at the start of the 2020-21 season. The Rockets are still the favorite, but they are even money, meaning if you risked $100 you would win $100 if he remains in Houston. The Brooklyn Nets are a fairly close second at +150.

Why is that surprising? The 2020-21 NBA season is set to tip off in less than three weeks. To this point, there has been no indication that the Rockets are close to trading Harden to Brooklyn or anywhere else. They seem content to wait and try to sort things out with both Harden and Russell Westbrook, who may be more likely to be traded.

Harden and Westbrook are both under contract in Houston for two more seasons. While that could, in theory, increase their trade value, it also means the Rockets don’t have to rush if they intend to move either player. They could simply wait to see how the situation plays out, which is what they are reportedly planning to do at least with Harden.

It seems like a solid bet that Harden will be with the Rockets in three weeks, so the even-money odds are a bit surprising. We might even say they present a great value.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

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