James Harden could remain away from Rockets following trade demand

Sep 6, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of game two of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By now, it’s well known that Houston Rockets star guard James Harden wants to be traded. Indirectly, Harden has made these demands public record.

One day after his Rockets traded away fellow former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, we’re hearing some more information on the James Harden front.

Related: Winners/losers from Russell Westbrook trade

James Harden not in Houston as season prep begins

Despite new head coach Stephen Silas indicating that he’s confident Harden will be at the team’s first practice on Sunday, it’s looking more and more like the reigning three-time NBA scoring champ is looking to force Houston’s hands here.

Once Houston conducts its first practice this coming weekend, it will be about two weeks away from the start of the 2020-21 regular season. Given that the Rockets have a completely new coaching staff following the departure of Mike D’Antoni, time is running out for Houston to mesh on the court. Potentially being without their best player could end up being a major issue.

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James Harden trade updates

Houston Rockets guard James Harden
Sep 12, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives the ball around Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) in the first half of game five of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Following the trade of Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall, the Rockets made it clear that they are not in a hurry to move Harden. He has two years remaining on his contract and is not in a position of strength.

Related: James Harden trade scenarios

  • The Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to James Harden, too. That’s rather obvious given that former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is running the ship in Philadelphia. However, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta is not happy about Morey’s abrupt departure and could potentially veto a trade.

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