The Houston Rockets entered the 2020-21 NBA season with the cloud of James Harden wanting to be traded hanging over their heads. It took away from the optimism of adding talents like John Wall, Christian Wood, and DeMarcus Cousins, and instead, made trade rumors the focus.
Harden hasn’t been vocal often about wanting to be traded since the Rockets’ regular season schedule started. It wasn’t until Houston lost to the Los Angeles Lakers recently that this had changed— describing his situation as not being capable of being fixed.
It’s apparent when watching the Rockets that Harden is not bought into the team. He has been uncharacteristically passive offensively. While playing for a new head coach in Stephen Silas initially deserved somewhat of a grace period, it’s clear Harden isn’t asserting himself.
For a player who is as dynamic as Harden, not being an aggressive offensive threat throughout games is concerning to see. He has become one of the NBA’s elite playmakers in addition to being the top scorer in the game. To not have him asserting himself often is concerning.
In response, John Wall made it clear that some of the players on the Rockets’ roster want to ‘jump off a cliff’ after playing just nine games of a 72-game schedule. It’s safe to say, James Harden is the focus of that remark.
The tensions are starting to heat up for the Rockets and it appears the team needs strongly consider making swift action. Trading away Harden for a less-than-ideal return is clearly what Houston wants to avoid, but a riveting trade package may not be on the table right now.
It’s bad enough for the Houston Rockets that James Harden hasn’t changed his tune about the organization. Now, John Wall making clashing remarks about the former NBA MVP before even reaching the quarter mark of their schedule is concerning.