HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 18:  James Harden #13 and Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets celebrate a basket against the Dallas Mavericks during Game One in the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs on April 18, 2015 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

James Harden angled for Rockets to move Dwight Howard

It seems the fuel behind the Houston Rockets shopping center Dwight Howard at the trade deadline didn’t come from the front office but from on the court. Multiple league sources told CBS Sports‘ Ken Berger that Rockets guard James Harden angled for management to trade Howard, but GM Daryl Morey was unable to find a suitable deal. Howard is still a member of the Rockets, at least until the summer when he’s eligible to become a free agent if he chooses.

In Berger’s article for CBS Sports, Harden didn’t shy away from letting it be known that NBA stars deserve organizational say:

This is the team that they go out there and compete with, so [star players] should have some kind of say-so. Obviously, the owners and the general managers and those guys have the final decision, but the star player should have some kind of input.

If you’re the star player and you’re going out there trying to lead that team every single night. I think that should be the case.

Apparently, star players can have some kind of input on if certain players should be traded too, because that’s just what Harden allegedly tried to with Howard. “It’s really bad for the locker room dynamic,” a person familiar with the situation told CBS Sports. “If everybody knows that James Harden can fire you or trade you, are you going to pass the ball to Dwight or are you going to pass the ball to James Harden?”

League sources also told CBS Sports that Harden pushed management to fire Kevin McHale, which the Rockets did after a 4-7 start to the season. Many, including Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, did not agree with the decision to fire McHale, who guided Houston to the Conference Finals last season.

If it’s true what Harden was able to maneuver with McHale and nearly get done with Howard, then Harden holds all the power in Houston, and it will be that way until his career is done there.

Marcelo Villa

About Marcelo Villa

Marcelo is an associate editor at The Sports Daily, and has covered the San Diego Chargers for Bleacher Report. He also writes for Sportsdirect Inc.