Rockets guard James Harden has wanted out of Houston since before the 2020-21 season began in December. He even listed several teams he'd prefer to be traded to.
After his latest postgame press conference following a 117-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of playing to his capabilities in Houston on a nightly basis, the Rockets appear to be ready to move on from the 31-year-old.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are finalists for Harden. The deal could "culminate quickly," and the Nets are offering all of their future first-round picks and pick swaps.
The Rockets are sifting through finalists — Nets and 76ers — for a James Harden deal that could culminate quickly, with Brooklyn preparing an offer of all its future first-round picks and pick swaps, per sources.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 13, 2021
Story on @TheAthletic with @sam_amick: https://t.co/tTYIRVG8Xg
Following Tuesday's loss to the Lakers, Harden said the Rockets "can't be fixed" and that the club is "not even close" to being a contender in the Western Conference.
While Harden waits for a trade, he has essentially quit on the Rockets, scoring less than 20 points in each of his last four games. In eight games this season, the 31-year-old is averaging 24.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game while shooting 44.4% from the field and 34.7% from deep.
Harden hasn't averaged under 25 points per game since the 2011-12 campaign, his third year in the NBA and final season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It's unclear if a deal for Harden would include Kyrie Irving. His absence from the franchise has caused a bit of chaos, though it seems like the Nets are committed to holding on to him.
Furthermore, Houston seems fed up with Harden's antics as well.
Rockets coach Stephen Silas says James Harden did not attend practice today. Coach says they felt it would be best for the group if he wasn’t there today.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 13, 2021