On September 12, the Houston Rockets were getting ready to depart the bubble in Orlando after losing a 4-1 Western Conference Semifinals series to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets beat the Lakers in Game 1 before losing four straight. After that, questions swirled around coach Mike D'Antoni's future with the organization and what the Rockets would need to do to get over the hump in the West.

Well, a lot has changed since then for Houston.

Houston, We Have a Problem

DeMarcus Cousins, James Harden, Rockets trade

The Rockets entered the offseason with too many question marks. D'Antoni left Houston right after the season-ending loss to the Lakers as his contract expired. Just a month later, General Manager Daryl Morey stepped down and began to seek employment elsewhere.

The Rockets then elevated Rafael Stone to the position of GM, and Morey eventually took his talents to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Just a quick recap: in the span of a month, the Rockets lost to the Lakers and were without a GM and a head coach.

While the hiring of Stone was a bit perplexing to many, the Rockets felt promoting a guy who had been with the organization for a decade and a half was the right move. Stone wasted no time and within weeks hired Stephen Silas as the new Head Coach.

The Rockets interviewed multiple candidates — including Wes Unseld Jr., Jeff Van Gundy, and Kenny Atkinson — but ultimately decided to go with Silas. Despite being a first-time head coach, Silas was a hot commodity in the league as one of the most sought-after assistant coaches for the past decade. He previously was with Dallas, Golden State, Cleveland, and Charlotte.

Trade Requests

Chris Paul Russell Westbrook James Harden Rockets

As the season came closer and closer, more and more questions began to arise.

Point guard Russell Westbrook came out and requested a trade, for reasons that are still unclear. Some reports said he was disgruntled playing with Harden, and others said he wasn't happy with the ownership and the front office.

Nonetheless, Westbrook wanted out, and after a while, he finally got his wish. Westbrook was shipped to the Nation's Capital in a deal that sent John Wall to Houston.

Then James Harden had also requested a trade and continuously listed the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers as his preferred destinations. Ironically enough, Daryl Morey is the new GM of the Sixers, and D'Antoni is a member of Steve Nash's coaching staff in Brooklyn. Whichever of those teams Harden went to would have some sort of reunion.

On Wednesday afternoon, James Harden was finally traded away from Houston to the Nets to reunite with former teammate Kevin Durant and former Head Coach Mike D'Antoni. Ultimately, Harden and Westbrook got their requests granted.

The New-Look Rockets

John Wall, Rockets, James Harden

Despite the Westbrook and Harden deals, the Rockets had a busy offseason. They traded away Robert Covington to Portland, signed DeMarcus Cousins, watched Austin Rivers go to the Knicks, and saw Jeff Green pack his bags and head to Brooklyn. The biggest move of the Rockets free agency was signing Christian Wood to a 3-year, $41-million deal.

So to recap, after the trades of Westbrook and Harden, the Rockets have a team that consists of Wall, PJ Tucker, Wood, Boogie Cousins, and Eric Gordon. Houston then acquired Caris LeVert as part of the Harden deal, and turned around and sent him to Indiana for Victor Oladipo.

The Rockets starting lineup in Game 5 of the Playoffs in September was Westbrook, Harden, Gordon, Tucker, and Covington.

Silas' team will now more than likely trot out a new starting five of Wall, Oladipo, Gordon, Wood, and Tucker. Albeit, that still isn't a terrible starting lineup by any means. The Rockets also got four first-round picks as part of the Harden blockbuster, so their assets for the future are aplenty.

Where Do the Rockets Go From Here?

Rockets, James Harden

The Rockets sit at 3-6 to start the year and are currently 14th in the Western Conference. Perhaps the trade of James Harden will be a breath of fresh air for the organization. The Westbrook and Harden trade drama was the talk of the league for quite some time, and as time went on Harden was increasingly displeased with his time in Houston.

From not showing up to training camp on time, to his poor body language on the court, and John Wall and Boogie's dispositions in the Press Conference after the loss on Tuesday, the Rockets were forced to deal Harden.

Oddly enough, they might benefit from this. First-year head coach Stephen Silas admitted he was “sleepless” and called the Harden debacle an “all-around messed up situation”, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Perhaps the Rockets will come out of this stronger than ever, and the addition of Oladipa certainly is a good one. However, the former Hoosier guard has insisted on his desire to play in Miami and is set to hit free agency at the end of this season, so his time in Houston could be short.

Still, the Rockets core of Wall, Gordon, Cousins and Wood is a nice one to build around. Reports floated out in the past 24 hours that teams were calling on the asking price for PJ Tucker, so there's a possibility Houston isn't done dealing.

The Transformation of All Transformations

James Harden, Rockets, Nets, dancers strip club

The Rockets went from an upper-tier team in the conference to a basement dweller in a matter of mere months. They replaced their GM, Head Coach, and lost two superstar players via trade in what we can safely say was a tumultuous offseason.

The Rockets might have a tough time making the playoffs in 2021, but it's certainly not out of the picture, especially with the play-in games for the 7-10 seeds. Coach Silas never imagined this was going to be the case when taking the Rockets, but the rookie coach will learn valuable lessons from this experience.

In perhaps the most drastic transformation any team has gone through in recent memory, the Rockets are finally-hopefully- stress-free. The adversity and tension surrounding the organization are certainly gone, and the Rockets as a whole will be better off with the players they have as of today.