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Rockets star James Harden allegedly still in Las Vegas Sunday night instead of reporting to Houston

Rockets, James Harden

Houston Rockets star guard James Harden was absent from Sunday’s workouts, and he might still be in Sin City.

Harden had told the team he would be reporting “soon,” though it looks like he had another night out in Vegas.

“The Beard” was captured on an Instagram story outside Drai’s Nightclub at around midnight local time.

Perhaps Harden is merely showing face after requesting a trade earlier in the offseason, though it currently looks like the Rockets are intent on keeping him.

Houston traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall, whom Harden reportedly preferred to play with going forward. Indeed, Wall would appear to be a better fit in the Rockets backcourt than Westbrook.

Although Wall has not played in close to two calendar years due to a ruptured Achilles, he has averaged double-digit assists in three separate seasons while also being slightly more capable as a perimeter shooter. Wall might have less of a demand for high usage, which always appears to be a question with Russ.

Of course, that deal will hardly matter if Harden is not raring to go for the start of the season.

The 31-year-old won his third consecutive scoring title last year with the Rockets, averaging 34.3 points to go along with 7.5 assists and 6.6 rebounds per contest. Harden is one of the best offensive players in the game, and might otherwise be galvanized by the additions of Wall and a tremendously gifted young big man in Christian Wood.

But Harden’s previous trade demands make things a little more complicated. It remains to be seen whether he is committed to the Rockets this year, or still hoping for a new chapter.