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#pounditFriday, March 31, 2023

Report: James Harden, Russell Westbrook concerned about direction of Rockets

James Harden

The Houston Rockets have made some major changes this offseason by parting ways with head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey. Fans are concerned about what that means for the future of the team, and those concerns are apparently shared by Houston’s two biggest stars.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook have both expressed concern over the direction of the Rockets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon report. The two superstars have have had conversations with both their representatives and Rockets officials about their worries that Houston’s championship window could be closing. The talks have reportedly left the Rockets wondering if Harden and Westbrook are committed to the team going forward.

Harden still has three years and $131.5 million remaining on his contract, including a $46.9 million player option for 2022-23. Westbrook is owed the same amount over the next three seasons with a $46.7 million player option for 2022-23.

For what it’s worth, both Harden and Westbrook were consulted in Houston’s coaching search and signed off on the Stephen Silas hire, according to ESPN. There were rumblings that they were not sold on Jeff Van Gundy, who was a finalist for the job. Harden has also been weighing in on potential personnel moves the Rockets can make.

It makes sense that Harden and Westbrook have concerns. Despite the team’s disappointing finish this season, D’Antoni and Morey are considered two of the best in the NBA at what they do. Harden and Westbrook are both in their 30s, so they understandably want to win now.

While both Harden and Westbrook are under contract for at least two more seasons, NBA stars force trades on an almost annual basis. One contending team is said to be interested in Westbrook, and there would be plenty of suitors if the Rockets decided to trade either star. If Houston gets off to a rough start next season, that will be something to watch.


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