James Harden might be skeptical of the Houston Rockets’ future, but the star guard isn’t looking for an exit just yet.
The Houston Rockets are in a pickle. After failing to get out of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the organization experienced some significant changes as head coach Mike D’Anotni failed to acquire an extension and General Manager Daryl Morey stepped down.
At this point, the Rockets have replaced those two guys with Stephen Silas and Rafael Stone. And the Rockets’ organization believes they are ready to compete for a title during the 2020-2021 NBA season.
But James Harden is skeptical. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim McMahon, Harden and his superstar partner Russell Westbrook are questioning the future of the Rockets.
“As the Houston Rockets navigate an offseason of major change, a new challenge is emerging for the franchise,” the ESPN insiders wrote on Wednesday. “The uncertainty of former MVP guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook on their futures with the team, sources told ESPN.”
Per the report, Harden and Westbrook have “expressed concerns” regarding the direction of the franchise. As both Westbrook and Harden are 31-years-old and seeking a championship, they’re wary of remaining with the Rockets as they believe the championship window is rapidly closing in Houston.
Lately, teams have reportedly expressed interest in Westbrook — and at some point, the Rockets will likely field calls for Harden as well. Since it’s now known Harden is unsure of the future in Houston, does that mean he’s looking for a way out?
Not exactly. While concerns are real and valid, Harden has not requested a trade at this point. Plus, the team did Harden a solid and included him in the head coaching search over the last couple of months.
While that doesn’t guarantee he won’t change his mind later on down the line, the Rockets can feel comfortable that Harden is being transparent without looking for an exit at this point in time.
Justin Grasso covers the NBA for The Sports Daily. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_