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#pounditMonday, January 18, 2021

Report: Rockets could try to rebuild relationship with James Harden

James Harden

James Harden wants out of Houston and is reportedly hoping to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, but the Rockets are not working to grant him his wish — at least not yet.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on “SportsCenter” Tuesday that the Rockets have had no substantial trade conversations with the Nets. With Harden still under contract for two more seasons, Houston is planning to take things slow and possibly try to smooth things over with Harden.

“What the Rockets do have on their side is time. Harden is still signed for at least two more seasons and has an option for a third. You may see them slow-play this and try to rebuild the relationship with the organization,” Wojnarowski said. “They don’t have to rush into a deal. They can sit back in the marketplace and see if somebody comes in and tries to blow them away with an offer for Harden.”

In other words, a Harden trade is unlikely at this time. And if the Rockets commit to not trading Harden, they may not want to move Russell Westbrook, either. Like Harden, Westbrook is under contract for two more seasons with a player option for a third.

Harden and Westbrook are said to be concerned about the direction of the Rockets now that head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey have both moved on. One reporter also heard that the superstars want to be traded for political reasons.

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