The NBA rumor mill has been full of James Harden trade reports in recent days. To the casual fan, it might seem the Houston Rockets star is desperate to get out of H-Town.
But while he might be eager to take a new direction in terms of his basketball journey, he still has plenty of love for the city.
Kelly Iko and David Aldridge of The Athletic reported the the Rockets’ top-scorer is quite involved in the city and has done philanthropic work in the community. He is even reportedly investing in the restaurant business:
Harden, his family, and his foundation have done a great deal of work within Houston during his eight years there and have a vested interest in the city. Harden has a good relationship with Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner, other local professional teams, and has worked extensively with youth and the underprivileged. He’s a part of the ownership group that controls the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash. Harden is also currently building his own restaurant/bar in Houston, according to a source familiar with developments. There is a lot of mutual love that exists between him and the city.
However, as Iko and Aldridge stated, “the clock is ticking.” In fact, the clock might be at zero.
The Rockets are in the midst of significant changes at the top. Rafael Stone is taking over as general manager and former Dallas Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas is manning the bench as the new head coach.
Additionally, Iko and Aldridge reported that team owner Tilman Fertitta is desperate to reduce payroll. This would seem to point to a roster overhaul. Indeed, the Rockets traded Robert Covington to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Might the Covington trade be an indicator James Harden is soon to follow? Time will tell on that front. But whether Harden dons a Rockets uniform next season or not, he still has love for the city of Houston.