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San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets - Game Six

Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty

NBA Superstar James Harden is the frontrunner in the 2017-18 MVP race. His Houston Rockets are the number 1 seed in the Western Conference and many believe they have a real shot at dethroning the reigning NBA World Champions Golden State Warriors and compete in the NBA Finals.

And this almost didn’t happen. At least in Houston.

After 3 seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Harden was looking to get a maximum NBA contract. The Thunder was unwilling to pay the winner of the 6th man of the year, partly because they already had 2 stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and couldn’t pay all 3 the max. The small market team was also unwilling to end up in the NBA Luxury tax bracket. So they shopped Harden to the highest bidder and the Rockets won. OKC eventually traded Harden to Houston for guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston.

But if you don’t remember, let us remind you that Harden was almost traded to the Washington Wizards. Yep, Harden could have been a part of #DCFamily.

According to The Washington Post, Harden was almost sent to Washington for then-rookie Bradley Beal and second-year forward Chris Singleton. Reportedly Wizards owner Ted Leonsis was unwilling to commit to an $80 million, five-year contract for Harden and the rest is history.

How would a Harden/John Wall backcourt have been?

We will never know.

Source: Washington Post

Related: Can The Washington Wizards Sneak Into The NBA Finals?