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RUMOR: Houston ‘clinging to hope’ in James Harden situation

James Harden, Rockets

The Houston Rockets’ disgruntled star in James Harden continues to be away from the team and failed to report in practices as training camps have already begun heading to the start of the 2020-2021 NBA season. Without Harden, the Rockets still managed to form a competent lineup after significant roster movements during the offseason and it might be their only hope of getting the eight-time All-Star’s renewed commitment to the team.

Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

“The Rockets are clinging to the hope, ‘Hey, we can be competitive this year,” said MacMahon. “‘If we’re competitive and we’re willing, maybe James will get back on board’ They’re just clinging to this hope and I mean, how many times have you seen a superstar demand a trade very publicly and things ended up working out. I will give you Kobe Bryant when they pulled the Pau Gasol trade and won championships. I’m having a hard time thinking of another situation like that.”

James Harden has been reportedly spotted at clubs in both Atlanta and Las Vegas as of late. However, according to The Athletic‘s Sam Amick, the high-scoring guard has already been a jet-setter back then even prior to the pandemic and the turmoil within the team.

His recent absence from the Rockets has been reported to not have a clear message attached to it and all might still be well between the two parties amid the perplexing situation. Once he decides to come back to the team, a revamped squad will await him with their newly-acquired pieces in John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Christian Wood, among others.

MacMahon also likened the situation to 2007 when the late Kobe Bryant requested a trade from the team which didn’t come to fruition. Pau Gasol came to the team and the duo managed to win two rings a couple of years later.

At the end of the day, the Rockets can only hope that both sides can still reconcile and continue with their partnership while also avoiding bridges to be burned despite James Harden’s desire to be traded from the team.