At the crossroads, what do the Rockets do with James Harden and Russell Westbrook?

At the crossroads, what do the Rockets do with James Harden and Russell Westbrook?

In public, the Houston Rockets have consistently conveyed the message: Everything is fine. We’re not blowing up the team, and we’re excited to take se fisson no. Daryl Moore and Mike de Antony are gone, but James Harden is still here and we intend to fight the championship.

Privately, though, Houston doesn’t seem to be all that innocent. While Harden is committed to rockets, According to Athletic’s Shams Sharana and Kelly Echo, Russell wants to trade, according to a Westbrook report.

The news comes after a report By ESPN’s Adrian Wozniacki and Tim MKMahn That Harden and Westbrook have told front office fees they are concerned about where the franchise is going. ESPN’s “The Jump,” Analyst Kendrick Perkins said Hard has not responded to phone calls from ownership, front office fees or new coach Stephen Silas for nearly two weeks.

None of this should be a shock. Harden and Westbrook wanted to join the team last summer, but they were predictably difficult to fit in the halfcourt, forcing front office fees to get rid of Clint Capella. Encouraging the team to listen to Silas about making less predictions, I can’t write about it without acknowledging the obvious: Strategic tweaks don’t matter unless Harden Silas and new general manager Rafael Stone are given a chance.

Harden is 31 years old and has gone through many new discoveries with rockets. In eight seasons, no one has gone from his pick and roll partner Omar Asik to Dwight Howard to Capella. He has shared backcourt with Jeremy Lynn, Patrick Beverly, Ty Law Law Sun, Chris Paul and Westbrook. He became a star under Kevin MH and a minor point guard under Mike Denton, replacing the game with his isolation and stepback 3s. The Rockets were good enough to win the 2018 title, but after a series of premature injuries and win-to-deal deals, they are contenders for the best experience, without the best players or picks, who can be reached for help.

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According to ESPN, both Harden and Westbrook sat down with Silas on the job, and Harden is talking to the front office fee about what he can do to strengthen their roster. This contradicts Perkins’ comment. The former NBA center, who played with Harden and Westbrook in Oklahoma City, said on “The Jump” that Harden and Westbrook did not feel involved in Houston’s decision-making process. They wanted the team to have Tyrone Lee as coach, and according to Perkins they wanted to tell GM Search. The Rockets immediately promoted Stone when Morey resigned.

Since getting Harden from the Thunder in 2012, Morey has made every iteration of the team around Dardiwala Ustad. If Harden really is “Locked K-in” This season, Stone could potentially move to Westbrook and bring back a group that sits more cleanly around him. With three years and more than 13 2,132 million left on his contract, it would be a miracle to do without dramatically lowering the Rockets ’short-term ceiling.

In Interview with Houston Chronicle, Stone said Houston would be “very aggressive” in terms of adding talent, and he also assured that next season would have a more traditional center in its circulation. With the exception of the midlevel, however, the Rockets do not have many of the equipment they have. Daniel House is definitely worth the trade, but is it more valuable to this team than to any other team? Trading Eric Gordon will sell very little now, and his playmaking is more crucial if Westbrook is not in the picture.

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Ideally, Harden would help the Rockets recruit players who would take an MLE or minimum contract. Maybe it could still happen, but it’s worrying that these reports came out a week before the draft. Shortly before that, the moratorium on transactions will be lifted, and the agency fee will officially start on November 20. The compact calendar means that the training camp is less than three weeks away. Welcome to the job, Raphael Stone!

One way or another, Houston should quickly figure out if his options are with Westbrook, where exactly he is with Harden and how to reach the best agency. “Go straight on,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said, adding that the Rockets “try to keep quiet,” but that was before Westbrook’s news broke. Unless Harden asks for a trade, it makes sense to give him a second one next season, if they believe two things: such a request is not inevitable, and their franchise player is not traded for their best long-term interests anyway. .

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