Once free agency is over, it is common for rosters around the league to noy be fully constructed. This year is no exception, but it seems like some of the most impactful trades that could happen (the ones that involve a star) have stagnated and could take a long time to unfold. Currently, three stars are looking for a way out of their teams.

James Harden and an endless journey:

Since his splendorous stay in Houston, The Beard has been trapped in a spiral of instability. After a brief stint playing for the Brooklyn Nets in which he fell victim to many injuries, he requested a trade to the 76ers to form a dream duo with Joel Embiid, but it just has not worked out with the Cameroonian.

With them two as leaders, the Pennsylvanian side has been a great regular season team, but come Playoff time, the ghosts that have hunted Harden in the postseason for his entire career returned. After Embiid won his desired MVP this year and they still were not able to advance to the conference finals, the guard has had enough and, yet again, has asked to be traded.

There were rumors of a return to Houston in order to complement their great young core in a smaller contract, but in the end, it seems like Harden’s preference is to join another struggling superteam, the Los Angeles Clippers.

The injuries of their main two stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, have prevented them from fulfilling the expectations of a roster like the one they possess. And, although it seems like their project is closer to parting ways than to winning a ring, the arrival of the ten-time All-Star could change everything.

Even though this is not the version of Harden who comfortably led the league in scoring, ‘The Beard’ is still able to score efficiently and has become one of the best passers in the league.

The fit would not be a problem, but there are three main concerns regarding the potential arrival of the 2017-2018 MVP: his previous experiences in loaded teams have not been successful, it is a risky investment for a player past his prime and Harden has proven to not be patient when things do not work out on the first go.

That is why the Clippers have been hesitant to pull the trigger and unite the three stars. It is a move with huge risk despite its potential reward.

Damian Lillard, the story of a loyal star:

It is not the first time I have talked about what an immense talent Dame is, how unlucky he has been and his sacrifice. Despite his great play as Portland’s star, he has never had a competitive enough roster around him to seriously contend for a ring.

Last season he played as great as ever, putting up heroic performances that were not enough to propel the Blazers to the Playoffs. That is the reason why the Oregonian squad are already thinking about rebuilding and would love to let Lillard go in exchange for a good return that features Draft capital or young pieces with potential.

Another reason for them to take this route is the chance they had to select a future star like Scoot Henderson with the third pick in this year’s Draft. An explosive guard who has gathered a lot of attention and expectations. A worthy successor for Dame.

As a result of the great service he has provided in the past, Portland is in debt with Dame. They should at least try to send him to a contending team. Many have tried to acquire him, but the main candidates are Brooklyn (as a result of the friendship between the guard and Mikal Bridges) and Miami, the most likely destination.

After Lillard’s trade request, there does not seem to be a way back. After 11 seasons with the Blazers, we will see Dame in the jersey of another franchise.

Donovan Mitchell, a new star in The Big Apple?

Despite having two years left on his contract with the Cavaliers and still being a newcomer in Ohio, it seems like Spida’s stay in Cleveland already has an expiration date.

It has been reported that the player will not resign with the franchise under any circumstance once his current contract ends. The news made a lot of noise around the media and, although the team’s front office has not made a statement, some believe that the former Louisville player could be traded this year.

Mitchell has already made his mind; he wants to play for the New York Knicks: a big market that will grant exposure and attract talent located in his hometown. If the Cavs want to get the best return they can for their main star, they need to start thinking about contending or moving him. As of today, they have room as Donovan is under contract, but the countdown has already started.

Main image: @cavs.

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