The James Harden saga continues. The 2018 MVP has had a rough start to his 2020 campaign with the Houston Rockets. He has requested a trade from the team and has been in the headlines because of it. The Beard has continued to play for the team despite his trade request, but the Rockets haven’t looked like a good NBA team.
Harden has been trying to force his way out of Houston for some time now. Things were expected to get better once Harden took the floor with his new teammates. After a 3-6 start, Harden didn’t hold back when talking about the team. He gave a brutal analysis of the Rockets and burned any remaining bridges he has with the team.
James Harden wants to be traded from Houston
The Rockets know Harden doesn’t want to be in Houston any longer. They have tried to convince him to stay but to no avail. Since his trade request, Harden hasn’t made it easy for the Rockets to find an available trade partner. He has engaged in some questionable behavior that has brought up some character concerns.
Harden was late reporting to Rockets training camp because he was out partying in Atlanta and Las Vegas. He also violated the NBA’s coronavirus protocols, being maskless while attending a friend’s party in a private setting. During practices, the eight-time All-Star even started problems with teammates, throwing a ball at rookie Jae’Sean Tate’s face on one occasion. The recent actions by Harden have made teams hesitant on pulling the trigger on a trade.
That doesn’t mean teams are interested. When at his best, Harden is an elite scorer in the NBA. His talents would be of great benefit to any team. The asking price for the three-time scoring champion is high, and the Rockets have shown they will be patient until the right deal comes. They are looking for a franchise cornerstone, multiple first-round picks, and/or young talent on rookie deals, per ESPN.
Harden’s desire to be traded is known, but he has been out on the floor for the Rockets. The success on the court hasn’t come, and things got ugly in their game against the Lakers. After the defeat, Harden’s frustrations came out.
James Harden says Rockets “just not good enough”
The Beard hasn’t played like his usual self since the NBA season has started. Harden has scored 20 points or fewer in his last four games. That is the longest stretch scoring 20 or less since his final season with the Thunder.
He and the Rockets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers for the second straight time in blowout fashion. Using those games as a measuring stick, Harden provided a harsh reality to the Rockets about their talent level.
We’re just not good enough — chemistry, talent-wise, just everything,” said Harden per ESPN. The Rockets haven’t looked like a good basketball team, but they have had to deal with COVID-19 protocols. The Rockets are at the bottom of the Western Conference, and Harden has essentially quit on his team. He believes he’s done everything he possibly can and thinks things aren’t repairable in Houston.
“I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can. This situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed. So, yeah,” said Harden per NBA.com. Harden’s candid and subtle trade request in front of the media signifies how bad things are. He is fed up and wants to get out of Houston as soon as possible.
The Rockets will wait for the right deal
Getting James Harden out of Houston is getting more difficult by the day for the Houston Rockets. Their asking price is already steep, wanting multiple first-round picks, a franchise cornerstone, and more. Harden’s antics aren’t making things any easier. Not to mention he looks overweight and out of shape in the eight games, he’s played in.
Despite the challenges that come with trading Harden, Houston is content on waiting for the right deal. There have no new reports of a trade for Harden in the works, and it doesn’t look like one is coming soon. Houston made it clear that they don’t mind “getting uncomfortable” in this Harden ordeal. Things have become awkward, but the Rockets are still analyzing the trade market for a suitable partner.
One of the NBA’s unwritten rules is that a player never throws their teammates under the bus. Harden did just that with his postgame comments Tuesday night. The Rockets now have to worry about if Harden is bringing down the team with his actions. He might force the Rockets to move him quicker because of his lack of chemistry with his teammates.
Houston, there is a huge problem, and it’s James Harden. His public criticism of his teammates and organization makes him look bad. The “crazy” situation Harden says he’s in could get even more chaotic if he doesn’t get traded in the near future.