When John Wall declared himself wanting like he did earlier than and Christian Wooden emerged as a beastly pick-and-roll companion, there was, for a fleeting second, a last sense of hope that maybe James Harden would again down on his enterprise swimsuit. An excessive amount of for that.
Whereas talks about Harden’s preseason public lawsuit have died down, Harden clearly desires to get out of Houston. On Tuesday, after Houston was smoked by the Lakers to fall to the worst Three-7 of the season within the Western Convention, Harden solely wanted just a few phrases to say all in regards to the scenario with the Rockets, who Harden proclaimed they’re. “just not good enough. “
“Actually, we’re not even near [the Lakers] – clearly the defending champs – and all the opposite elite groups, “Harden mentioned.” I imply, you may inform the distinction in these final two video games.
“Chemistry, expertise, every little thing. It is clear,” Harden continued. “I like this metropolis. I’ve actually carried out every little thing I can. It is loopy. I do not suppose it may be mounted. Thanks.”
Then he acquired up and acquired off the rostrum.
Shortly after Harden’s feedback, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Rockets are nonetheless collaborating in commerce talks for Harden, however that they’re asking that the value stay excessive and that there isn’t a deal imminent.
Tim MacMahon, Ramona Shelburne and ESPN’s Wojnarowksi additional reported that the Rockets are having Harden commerce discussions with “greater than half a dozen groups,” and that Houston proprietor Tilman Fertitta continues to guarantee Harden that he’ll discover a commerce for he. Fertitta is claimed to have “empowered” new Rockets normal supervisor Rafael Stone to make a commerce.
None of that is actually new, after all. The Rockets have been shopping for Harden all alongside, and naturally his asking value might be excessive. The brand new variable is that Harden is shedding his persistence publicly as he faces the truth that he cannot get out of city with two assured years, plus a third-year participant choice, remaining on his contract.
Along with taking his complaints to the media, Harden mainly resigned on the courtroom, having scored fewer than 20 factors in every of his final 4 video games. The final time it occurred was 2011-12, in accordance with ESPN Statistics and Info.
Harden has listed quite a few groups as acceptable enterprise locations, together with the Nets, Sixers, Warmth, Blazers and Bucks. However once more, Harden does not have all of the clout right here. Sure, he’s a robust participant who, collectively together with his agent, has nice affect behind closed doorways, however he isn’t in a yr with out strolling. Houston can, and possibly will, commerce him to no matter crew affords the most effective bundle, not the crew Harden prefers, and till then Harden might be in Houston.
With all of the chaos surrounding Kyrie Irving and the Nets proper now, you marvel how that may have an effect on, if it is going to have an effect on a doable deal for Harden, or if the Sixers can be prepared to shake off the great vibes they’re constructing with their scorching Starting of the season. The groups Harden desires to switch to, generally, do not have the belongings or incentive to barter, except Houston lowers its value.
It will be powerful for the Rockets to provide you with something near truthful worth, and Harden is making an attempt to screw them up on the likelihood that they may buckle beneath the strain, tire of the drama, and reduce their losses with a decrease deal to do away with it. It would solely change into a worse headache. As a result of how lengthy can the group put up with this? How lengthy can the opposite Rockets gamers share the identical locker room with Harden whereas he tells everybody that they don’t seem to be ok for him?
For his half, Wall is clearly rising weary of Harden’s act, as Houston’s season, Wall’s first season after two years on the shelf, has been fully hijacked by Harden’s schedule.
“He’s [Harden] talking of your individual opinion. I am unable to know what he thinks in regards to the crew or what he feels we’re, “Wall mentioned, through ESPN’s report.” I understand how a lot onerous work these guys put in … to attempt to get higher day by day. I understand how a lot work I put into it to get better and compete at a excessive stage.
“There are loads of guys right here who wish to compete at a excessive stage,” Wall continued. “Like I informed everybody tonight and I informed the fellows earlier than, when one of many 15 guys are on the identical web page and so they commit and so they know their position and so they know what they wish to get out of this and that’s successful, it is going to be all. Okay. However when there are particular guys within the combine who do not wish to purchase all of them as one, it is going to be troublesome to do one thing particular or one thing good as a basketball crew.