HOUSTON – The clock is ticking down towards the start of a new training camp and the status of Rockets stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook remains unclear.
Both players have asked for trades and while the Rockets are listening to offers, NBA sources with knowledge of the Rockets thinking tell KPRC Channel 2 Sports that the team will not make a deal unless ample talent is involved and sent to Houston. That means a star player and valuable assets to go along with it has to come together before owner Tilman Fertitta and GM Rafael Stone will move forward.
As of Tuesday night the latest scenario for Harden, who would like to land in Brooklyn, has the two teams coming to a verbal agreement on a deal should it move forward. NBA sources have yet to confirm the accuracy of the report that came out Tuesday. Harden has asked the front office to be traded and specifically wants to join the Nets where he would form a dream team alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Russell Westbrook also would like to be traded but his primary focus, even if he remains in Houston, is to be the main piece on offense. Alongside Harden that was not the case this past season and won’t be that way moving forward as long as both are in Houston. Westbrook’s fat contract, which has three years and 131 million still owed, has been a factor in the lack of interest according to NBA sources.
The Rockets are in no hurry to deal either player and are more than willing to proceed to camp and the season without making a move. If that is the road they take the question will be how will two disgruntled players still get the job done and support new coach Stephen Silas?
Stay tuned because it’s anyone’s guess if a trade will actually go down this week. Training camp is set to open on December first.