James Harden is done with the Houston Rockets and, apparently, he would prefer if the franchise traded him to the Brooklyn Nets. While on paper, Harden joining Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn seems like a great idea, it could be a monumental disaster.
Harden, Durant and Irving are all among the 15 best players in the NBA, but their playing styles don't mesh at all. All three guys all ball-dominant and need to initiate an offense to make things happen, so they do not fit together at all. In crunch time, which one of those guys will be the alpha who runs the offense, and would the other two be OK deferring to him? If somehow they worked it out, the Nets could play beautiful basketball, but it seems unlikely that transition would be smooth.
It's also worth noting all three of those guys have had issues playing well with others. Kevin Durant struggled to team with Russell Westbrook, then wanted out of an almost perfect situation in Golden State after three seasons. Kyrie Irving was a malcontent in both Cleveland and Boston. Harden struggled to get along with Chris Paul and Westbrook in Houston after not meshing well with Durant and Westbrook in Oklahoma City.
Maybe all three guys will come to some kind of understanding and sacrifice their touches and egos in order to win a championship, but we have no reason to believe that will happen. Durant and Irving alone in Brooklyn felt like a bad mixture, but throwing Harden in there would make things even more complicated. This smells like a situation where all three guys would be miserable by March.
Let's be real, no one would be able to match up with that Big Three from a pure talent perspective. But other teams will almost certainly boast better chemistry on and off the court, and a better composition of pieces.
Harden joining the Nets would be a hell of an experiment, and it could be a massive failure.