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NBA trade rumors: Is trading James Harden a better move than trading Patrick Beverley?

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Harden is much better, but his playoff failures are hard to ignore.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As we speak, the Houston Rockets are reportedly looking for a trade partner in order to ship Patrick Beverley out of town so they can land a second superstar to pair with James Harden.

But with the Rockets potentially about to hand Harden a brand new, shiny $200 million contract, the question is: Will he be the one to lead the team to the promised land?

The Harden experiment has worked out better than expected.

Back in 2012, the Rockets traded for a sixth man and in the years since, Harden has turned himself into one of the best players in the league.

Each year since Harden has been in Houston, the Rockets have been to the playoffs, but they have never broken through to the NBA Finals, and only once been to the Western Conference Finals.

In the playoffs, oftentimes the Rockets have had shorter-than-expected runs, in large part because the Harden that played in the regular season was not the same guy when it mattered most. With each exit, the answer is always finding more help.

Harden and Chandler Parsons did not work.

Dwight Howard: fail.

Ty Lawson: double, no, triple fail.

Chris Paul and Paul George are much better options than anyone else the Rockets have paired with Harden so far, but who knows if that's the match that will put them over the top?

Is Harden better long-term for the Rockets, or is Beverley a better bet?

Talent-wise, Beverley is no Harden. He's not even on the same planet. Very few players in the NBA are putting up 40-point triple-doubles, and Beverley won't be one of those guys ever.

But while Bev might not be the same player Harden is, the Rockets are a much better team with him on the floor than when he is off.

Many players have called Beverley the heart and soul of the Rockets — including the Beard himself — and more often than not, when they are winning, it's because he's having a good game. Harden's heroics does equal wins, but unless he's hitting back to back-to-back threes, he's not the guy who brings the energy to the team. It's Beverley.

The fiery point guard grabs rebounds away from seven-footers like they are nothing, he never backs down, and it's his spirit the players, the city of Houston and everyone rallies around, not Harden’s.

Harden is a playmaker, one of the best in the game, but is he someone that can lead?

After five seasons, if that question is still being asked (and it is), it might be time to move on from him.

It's true Morey isn't going to find equal value for Harden — that’s almost impossible — but he would get a lot in return, and it's could result in a lot of first-round picks.

It's the reset button, and a drastic one, but if the mandate is to make it to the Finals one day, and you aren't sold on Harden, maybe getting a few young players and a ton of first round picks can be the ticket.

A deal with the Boston Celtics, for starters, could net Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and a host of their low-first-round draft picks, that could be worth taking the hit now for a future gain later.

If you are playing poker, moving Harden would net you a whole new hand from the deck, Beverley only gets you one new card.

Moving Beverley might seem like the simple solution because it keeps the superstar status quo the same. The Rockets would get Chris Paul or Paul George or Paul Millsap and they'll make the playoffs again, but doesn't mean that this is going to be what puts them through to the Finals.

Moving Harden would be a tough pill to swallow, but sometimes, to take two steps forward you have to take a step backwards.