Rockets tell James Harden to stay home as trade nears
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Wednesday afternoon the Rockets are “sifting” through offers as they look to move Harden. Houston has also told “The Beard” not to attend practice:
“We felt that it was best for the group and best for James not to come to practice,” head coach Stephen Silas said, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
Silas also said he was upset by Harden’s comments after Tuesday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Silas said he had a sleepless night after Harden's comments last night. Said he talked to Harden this morning. Said Harden's comments were hard to hear, especially when he doesn't believe they are true.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) January 13, 2021
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN added the Rockets plan to keep Harden away from the team until a deal is consummated.
The Rockets are planning to keep Harden away until a trade is done — with front office weighing best final offers from Brooklyn and Philadelphia, sources tell @ramonashelburne and me. Process is moving quickly now. https://t.co/YDZkAKcG5d
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 13, 2021
It seems a matter of time before the Rockets complete a deal, though it remains to be seen whether Harden will head to Philadelphia or Brooklyn.
The Nets seem fully content on selling their future in an effort to acquire Harden. Charania reported they are willing to part with all of their future first-round picks, including possible pick swaps. Brooklyn also figures to toss in the likes of Caris LeVert and other salary fillers.
Houston has pursued Sixers star Ben Simmons, though it is unknown whether Philly still has Simmons on the table. Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey previously said the team had no plans move Simmons.
These developments have come about in short order. Harden doubled down on his trade demand following Tuesday’s loss, saying he had done “everything” he could while claiming the Rockets simply were not good enough. The comments drew some subliminal shots from point guard John Wall, who said it was hard for everyone to buy in when the team’s star is not sold on the goal.
All signs point to the Harden era in Houston coming to a bitter end here shortly. The Rockets appear to be looking to the future.