Despite his seemingly incessant desire to jump ship, it is now being reported that James Harden is expected to start training camp with the Houston Rockets.

This update comes from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Hoop Central):

This does come as a bit of a surprise considering how the NBA and NBPA have set December 1st as the start of training camp for the 2020-21 campaign. By turning down a massive $100-million deal for two years, James Harden made it abundantly clear that he wants out of the Rockets. He has already been linked to a blockbuster move to the Brooklyn Nets to join former teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, so at this point, it seems that he already has one foot outside the door.

Training camp will start in a little less than two weeks, which gives ample time for the Rockets to find an amenable deal for Harden. If The Beard is traded within the next week or so, then he obviously wouldn't be joining Houston for training camp.

This recent report from Woj seems to imply, however, that the Rockets intend to take their time on Harden. They do not intend to be pressured into a deal that they aren't 100 percent comfortable with, regardless of Harden's demands. This may be a bit of a show of force by Houston, as they try to improve their stature on the bargaining table.

Then again, it is also possible that Houston plays hardball here. They could always choose to ignore Harden's trade demands and keep him hostage, so to speak. After all, he is under contract until 2023.

Needless to say, this Rockets situation is getting uglier by the minute.