After eight productive seasons with the Rockets, James Harden wants out of Houston – but it remains to be seen if the organization can find a suitable trade partner to make a blockbuster deal happen, and is willing to part ways with the former NBA MVP.
Harden’s reported list of preferred destinations includes the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, and while many neutral fans who would love to see what would happen with Harden in Brooklyn, ESPN is reporting that the Rockets are “expanding trade discussions” with other contending teams.
For now, Harden says he’s “focused on being here” in Houston and has returned to the court, most recently dropping 20 points in a preseason game on Friday – but how committed to the Rockets will he remain if a trade doesn’t occur? Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless said Friday that he believes the Rockets will make a deal happen before the start of the NBA season last week, after realizing that Harden is “more trouble than he’s worth.”
“If these reports are true and I believe they all are, I now suspect they will get this done before opening night. It sounds like to me, if Houston has expanded its horizon into the trade market that it’s their choice to seek partners. They’re seeking trade partners – and it may take two partners, it may take three partners to get this done. But because they are now looking, that indicates to me that they have finally made the call. The final decision – enough. [He’s] more trouble than he’s worth, and he will continue to be even more trouble than he’s worth if we try to keep him here unhappy through this year, as we saw the Pelicans try to keep Anthony Davis for one more year.
…. If you’re just pouty and not into it, it doesn’t matter how great you were. You just have to cut bait. You just have to close your eyes and plunge and go forward.”
The Rockets will open their regular season on Wednesday, December 23rd at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder.