Rockets star James Harden was absent from the team's Sunday workouts, including missing an individual session on Sunday. Harden told the team he would be reporting to camp in short order but was spotted in Las Vegas as midnight local time on Monday morning.
Silas said Monday there is “no timetable” for Harden's arrival, calling the situation a “setback.”
Stephen Silas says James Harden is still not with the team. “There is no timetable and it is a setback.”
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIko) December 7, 2020
It certainly is a setback for Silas and the Rockets, considering the season starts in just over two weeks. Silas is attempting to implement a new offense, which would be pretty hard to do without the team's best offensive player.
There is a definitive lack of clarity with respect to Harden's current level of commitment to the franchise. “The Beard” made plenty of headlines after requesting a trade, though Houston does not appear to be in any rush to move him.
In fact, the Rockets were seemingly caving to Harden's wishes when they traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall.
Wall himself has said he expects Harden to be at camp, though his own arrival has not prompted the three-time scoring champion to follow suit.
Perhaps this would be more of a non-issue if the Rockets had most of the same personnel in terms of the coaching staff and front office. Of course, that is the furthest thing from the current situation in Houston.
Maybe Harden is stringing things along in the hopes the team will still trade him. Or, perhaps he is simply soaking up the few days of offseason he has remaining.
But camp has started, and Silas is clearly irked by his star player's behavior.