As James Harden and the Houston Rockets exited the NBA bubble, more disheartening news followed. Long time General Manager Daryl Morey stepped down from his role, which has opened up new avenues for speculation. Will the core of James Harden and Russell Westbrook be broken this offseason? We might have an answer.
The Houston Rockets ended their 2020 campaign by losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the playoffs. The team never really found their rhythm after winning Game 1. The Lakers ended up hammering them in the remaining four games to seal a comfortable series victory.
This loss raised several questions about the Rockets’ roster. Fans were wondering if Westbrook is an ill-suited fit for the team as the Harden-Westbrook magic just wasn’t there during crunch moments.
Moreover, small-ball specialist Mike D’Antoni resigned as their head coach, which puts the team in trouble. Their roster is designed to facilitate the small-ball style, and D’Ant oni is no longer available to guide the team.
Are the Houston Rockets planning to trade James Harden?
This notion came into existence when D’Antoni stepped down as HC. Moreover, Daryl Morey resigning as GM has put even more pressure on the franchise. Morey developed a strong bond with James Harden, and seeing him leave might instill the same thought in ‘The Beard’s’ mind as well!
There are rumors about the Rockets wanting Sixers’ Joel Embiid, but that’s a story for a different day. Here’s what we know about the team’s existing core as of now. Rockets insider Jonathan Feigen recently joined the ‘Pushin’ Thru’ podcast, where he debunked the idea around a possible rebuild.
“The blow it up and start over thing is not for this offseason. And the reason I feel fairly certain about that is they’re certainly keeping James Harden informed and getting his input on coaching, discussions and considerations. You wouldn’t involve him if you’re planning to send them off somewhere,” Feigen mentioned.
It certainly does not seem like the right idea to scrap the existing players and move towards a rebuild. Every franchise might need to undergo the scenario at some point, but Jonathan Feigen believes now is not the right time.
He did stress on the word “not for this offseason” which implies that the team will definitely look to focus on a rebuild soon. If James Harden does not deliver for a few more seasons, then they might look to trade him out.
But as for now, he’s their best player by far. Harden just secured his third successive scoring title this year by averaging a massive 34.3 PPG in the regular season. Hence, the Rockets will set their targets for the upcoming season without their core intact.