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#pounditSaturday, May 8, 2021

James Harden

Report: Heat would have interest in James Harden trade

James Harden

We still do not know if the Houston Rockets will ever be willing to trade James Harden, but if they do, we now know of one team that is clearly interested.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Miami Heat would be interested in trading for Harden if the Rockets decide to move the guard. Harden would also be interested in a trade to the Heat. At least two key unnamed members of the Miami organization are strongly interested in Harden.

The Heat are not concerned about Harden’s ball-dominant style, feeling that is down to Houston’s system and not Harden’s inability to adapt.

In addition, Jackson reports that the Heat would not necessarily be opposed to including Tyler Herro in trade talks, though the Heat still love the player.

For now, this all remains hypothetical until the Rockets become more open to a potential trade. Harden has a growing list of teams he’d be interested in moving to. Some of them would likely make that interest mutual. The Heat, though, are clearly a team to watch.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Stephen Jackson trashes James Harden for late arrival to Rockets camp

James Harden

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson ripped James Harden for his late arrival to Houston Rockets camp, accusing him of undermining new coach Stephen Silas.

Jackson posted audio of himself to his Instagram, stating that Harden is avoiding accountability and is hurting a young Black coach’s career to “chase rappers around.”

“James Harden don’t want to be held accountable. [Mike] D’Antoni is the worst defensive coach in NBA history, ain’t gonna win s—, ain’t won s— as a head coach. He easy to run over. So James is trying to continue to be around close to D’Antoni so he can’t be held accountable,” Jackson said. “The Rockets finally get a young Black coach. A young Black coach get an opportunity, and you don’t want to show up to camp. You don’t want to play for him. How that look? And you wonder why every time a Black coach get a job, they put him in a bulls— situation. Look what you doing.

“What a real one would do is go play for that Black coach and make him look good and build with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, some real ones. But obviously you want to chase rappers around.”

Silas spent his first press conference of camp answering questions about Harden’s absence, so it is fair to say Harden put Silas in a tougher situation than necessary. Jackson is also clearly unimpressed with what Harden was doing instead of showing up to camp. The longer Harden keeps quiet about it, the more we’ll likely hear.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Jimmy Butler reacts to rumors linking James Harden to Heat

Jimmy Butler

Could James Harden join Jimmy Butler in Miami? The Heat star isn’t getting drawn into the rumors.

Harden reportedly added the Heat to his trade wish list, meaning Butler and Harden could end up teaming up in Miami. Butler said he wants Harden to be happy, but is ultimately pleased with his current team.

“There’s a lot of stuff always in the media,” Butler told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I think that he’s a hell of player. I like the group we have. To tell you the truth, I just want the guy to be happy. That’s what life is about. That’s what the game is about.”

It doesn’t sound like Butler plans to do much recruiting, as he has in other instances like this one. Part of that reason is perhaps that the Heat might not be willing to go all-out to make such a deal.

Still, Butler’s comments are a bit less blunt than these remarks by another player whose team has been linked to Harden.

John Wall backtracks from comments about James Harden

John Wall

John Wall said just four days ago that he is confident James Harden wants to remain with the Houston Rockets, but the star point guard suddenly does not seem so certain.

Wall told reporters on Sunday that he has spoken with Harden and is 100 percent sure the former MVP “wants to be here and be a part of this organization.” With Harden still not reporting to practice and multiple reports about him wanting to be traded, Wall changed his tune on Thursday.

“Whatever he’s going through, he’ll get through it and make the decision that’s best for him, and I think the front office will do the same,” Wall said, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

Wall’s remarks seemed to follow a similar pattern to those of head coach Stephen Silas. Last week, Silas expressed confidence that Harden would be present for Houston’s first official practice on Sunday. Harden didn’t show, and more recent comments from Silas indicated the coach is growing frustrated with the situation.

Harden reported to Houston on Tuesday and is going through the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, but he is still seeking a trade. He initially told the Rockets he would like the be sent to either Brooklyn or Philadelphia, but a new report claims two new teams have been added to that list.

Heat unwilling to include Tyler Herro in potential James Harden trade?

Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro was the breakout star of the 2020 NBA postseason and helped lead the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals, so it is no surprise that he has drawn trade interest from other teams in recent weeks. At this point, however, it does not sound like he is going anywhere.

Greg Sylvander of Five on the Floor reported on Thursday that the Heat have had trade discussions with the Houston Rockets surrounding James Harden. While the Heat are almost certainly interested, Sylvander says they have not yet shown a willingness to include Herro in any potential deal.

It seems unlikely that Herro would be considered an untouchable piece, especially if the Heat had an opportunity to acquire Harden. Numerous reports have indicated that the Rockets have placed an extraordinarily high asking price on Harden, so they probably informed the Heat they would want Herro, high draft picks and then some.

Harden is said to have added the Heat to his list of preferred trade destinations, which means he has now given the Rockets a wish list that consists of at least four teams.

A report last month claimed the Heat were open to trading Herro for another top player, so it’s hard to believe he would be completely off-limits in Harden talks.

Herro averaged 16.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in the playoffs for the Heat. He averaged 13.5 points per game during the regular season

Report: James Harden adds two new teams to trade wish list

James Harden

James Harden finally reported to Houston on Tuesday and is in the process of getting cleared to practice, but the former MVP still wants the Rockets to trade him.

Initial reports were that Harden wanted to reunite with Kevin Durant and be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. He has since informed the Rockets that he would be open to playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, and Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the list has now grown to four teams.

According to Charania, Harden also has the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks among his preferred trade destinations. The 76ers and Nets remain at the top of the list, but Harden has now told Houston he would be open to playing for the aforementioned four Eastern Conference contenders.

Harden is said to have had minimal contact with Houston’s front office in recent weeks, but he plans to remain professional and has spoken with assistant coach John Lucas.

Harden is under contract with the Rockets for two more seasons, so it is no surprise that they remain committed to smoothing things over with him unless another team blows them away with an offer. Charania reports that Houston has no interest in any offer from the Nets that does not include either Durant or Kyrie Irving. The same is true of the 76ers with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. While new Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has a close relationship with Harden, it does not sound like he wants to part with Simmons.

New Rockets coach Stephen Silas appears to be running out of patience with Harden. Silas told reporters he expected Harden to practice with Houston on Sunday, but that never happened. Harden spent the previous several days partying and attending a rapper’s birthday part in Atlanta.

Harden has yet to address the situation publicly, but some comments his mother made on social media recently seemed to confirm her son wants out of Houston. The growing list of preferred destinations is further evidence that Harden wants a change of scenery.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Kevin Durant has blunt response to James Harden trade rumors

Kevin Durant

All indications are that James Harden wants the Houston Rockets to trade him, and the Brooklyn Nets are said to be one of the teams on his wish list. Naturally, that has led to Kevin Durant being asked about the possibility of playing with Harden again. Durant showed on Wednesday that he does not want to entertain that talk.

Durant was asked about the Harden trade rumors during his conference call with reporters, and he quickly dismissed the question. He said he is only worried about the players who are with the Nets.

“I don’t think about James Harden at all,” Durant said, per Adam Zagoria of Forbes. “I mean, he doesn’t play on our team.”

Harden may want to play on Durant’s team, but that is not in K.D.’s control. Keep in mind that Durant still hasn’t played a game for the Nets after rupturing his Achilles, and he added that he is “very excited about the future of this group.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported recently that Harden worked out with Durant and Kyrie Irving in Los Angeles. While Durant did not deny that, he dismissed the talk of Harden going to Brooklyn and basically accused the media of making it up.

At this point, it does not seem like the Rockets want to trade Harden. The former MVP has reportedly given them another team aside from the Nets that he wants to play for, but Houston seems determined to smooth things over.

James Harden arrives in Houston as trade rumors swirl

James Harden

James Harden may finally be ready to join his Houston Rockets teammates at training camp.

Harden arrived in Houston on Tuesday and took a COVID-19 test at the Toyota Center, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The NBA’s coronavirus protocols state that players must test negative for three consecutive days once in-market before they are cleared to enter their team’s facility, so Harden may not practice until later in the week.

Photos and videos have surfaced on social media over the past week showing Harden partying in Atlanta, Las Vegas and potentially other places. While many assumed he was holding out because he wants a trade, Harden reportedly did not communicate that to the team and left officials as confused as the rest of us.

Head coach Stephen Silas told reporters last week that he expected Harden to practice on Sunday, but that never happened. Silas seemed incredibly frustrated over the situation on Monday.

Harden does appear to be seeking a trade. A new report on Tuesday claimed he informed the Rockets of at least one other team he wants to play for, though there have been no significant trade discussions to this point.

It would stand to reason that Harden plans to report to practice at some point if he has begun going through COVID-19 protocol. Although, his mother did essentially confirm Harden wants out of Houston this week with some comments on social media.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Report: James Harden told Rockets he is open to 76ers trade

James Harden

James Harden has not reported to training camp with the Houston Rockets and seems intent on being traded. If the team decides to fulfill his request, the Philadelphia 76ers are at or near the top of the former MVP’s wish list.

Harden informed the Rockets before the start of training camp that he would be open to a trade to the Sixers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon. He also said there would be other teams that fit his criteria, though it’s unclear which teams those are.

It was previously reported that Harden wants a trade to the Nets, but he pivoted to the 76ers after there was no traction in talks between Houston and Brooklyn. The Rockets have had no significant talks with Philly, either.

Former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is now in charge of basketball operations in Philly, and he and Harden have a close relationship. Morey took out a full-page ad thanking the Rockets after he parted ways with them, and the ad focused a lot on Harden.

If the Rockets do trade Harden, ESPN reports that they are looking for a package that includes “a young franchise cornerstone and a bundle of first-round picks and/or talented players on rookie contracts.” They would almost certainly want Ben Simmons in any deal with the 76ers, and indications have been that Morey is not open to parting with him.

Harden was not present for Houston’s first official practice on Sunday, and head coach Stephen Silas appears to be running out of patience with him. We seemed to get confirmation that Harden wants to be traded with some remarks his mother met on social media.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Report: Rockets confused by James Harden’s absence

James Harden

If James Harden is trying to send a message to the Houston Rockets through his training camp absence, the organization does not appear to be getting it.

The Rockets are experiencing “significant confusion” regarding what Harden is seeking to accomplish through his absence, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. The Rockets aren’t even certain that Harden is trying to send a message, and there some belief that this is simply “James being James.” Rival executives also do not have any clear idea why Harden is behaving the way he is.

What is clear is that the Rockets did not have advance warning of Harden’s absence. According to Amick, Harden had been expected to report over the weekend, and the team is “surprised” that he did not do so. However, the team has heard nothing new from Harden or his representatives in private, and the plan remains for him to play for Houston this season. Subsequently, the Rockets have not adjusted their trade demands at all in spite of the turmoil. They would want an enormous return for Harden, headlined by an All-Star level player.

One thing is clear: the Rockets are very frustrated by Harden’s actions. For now, though, it does not appear anything has significantly changed.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0