Rockets star James Harden yet to show up for individual workouts
The New York Times’ Marc Stein is reporting that Houston Rockets star James Harden has yet to report for the team’s individual workouts that started Thursday. Despite his initial absence, newly installed head coach Stephen Silas is said to be “confident” that the All-NBA guard will be present for the team’s first practice Sunday.
Rockets star James Harden was not yet in Houston for the team's individual workouts Thursday, league sources say …
New Rockets coach Stephen Silas said this afternoon of Harden that he's "confident that he'll be here when we get started"
Houston's first practice is Sunday
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 4, 2020
While the individual workouts don’t appear to be mandatory, Harden’s absence from them are likely to only increase the chatter around the league about the rift that exists between the Rockets organization and its franchise player.
Having reportedly requested a trade from the Rockets following their loss in the Western Conference Semifinals, Harden and his camp have made no secret of their desire to reunite with former teammate Kevin Durant in Brooklyn. Though the Rockets have explored potential trade options for the their former-MVP, the franchise has expressed a willingness to enter the season with the guard still on their roster, should a viable trade package fail to materialize.
The news of Harden’s decision to skip the workouts, also come less than 24 hours after the Rockets completed a trade involving their other troubled guard – Russell Westbrook.
Receiving John Wall and draft compensation, Houston jettisoned Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in a move that appears to be noteworthy, more because of the names and money involved, than it does for its ability to change the on-court fortunes of either team. While earlier reporting indicated that both Harden and Westbrook had grown wary of continuing to play together, the move isn’t a guarantee to sway Harden from his desire to move elsewhere.
Given his disappearance Thursday afternoon, it’s safe to say that James Harden probably isn’t looking forward to Sunday.