James Harden, Russell Westbrook aren’t getting traded, per Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta
The Rockets, who lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the 2020 playoffs, need a new head coach after Mike D’Antoni decided not to come back. General manager Daryl Morey also stepped down from his post.
“There is no reason to blow up your roster. This is still our window, the next couple of years. James and Russell are in their early 30s. We’re not blowing up anything. We plan on contending. We’re going to do whatever we had to do to win,” Tilman Fertitta said on CNBC, via Jonathan Fegien of the Houston Chronicle.
In the first year of the James Harden–Russell Westbrook duo, the Rockets won 44 games in the regular season. Houston then defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, but surprisingly needed seven games to do so.
The Rockets won Game 1 against the Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals, only to lose four straight afterward. Westbrook wasn’t his usual effective self, as the former MVP contracted COVID-19 before the playoffs started and dealt with a quadriceps injury against the Thunder and Lakers.
Many pundits believe the Rockets need to blow up the roster, trade Harden and Westbrook, and embark on a rebuild. However, it appears Fertitta has no plans to move on from his two best players and is still confident the Rockets can win a title in the Harden era.