The Houston Rockets have tried and failed to create a true contender last decade. Will James Harden be on the move now?
James Harden has been one of the best players in the league ever since being traded to the Houston Rockets. He’s been on the MVP shortlist in 5 of these seasons. He’s been the most prolific scorer in the league since 2012.
Now aged 32, Harden’s athletic prime is probably behind him at this point. While he will still be a great offensive machine for at least a couple of more years barring injury, his championship window as the franchise player is drawing to a close. What will the Houston Rockets do about it?
Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta is committed to building a championship team around Harden
According to ESPN’s Tim McMahon, the Rockets currently intend to keep making championship runs with Harden as the centerpiece.
“What I can say is right now the Rockets are 100 percent committed to trying to cash in on James Harden’s prime,” said MacMahon on The Woj Pod.
“They consider him the best player in the league, which you know… He’s without question a perennial MVP candidate. That’s just a simple fact. They’re going to try to win a championship as long as he’s at that level and as long as he’s on board.”
“What I can say is right now the Rockets are 100 percent committed to trying to cash in on James Harden’s prime. They consider him the best player in the league.”
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 29, 2020
‘James Harden could make trade decision, not Rockets’
MacMahon, however, goes on to explore the possibility of Harden trying to force a trade to win a championship. The Rockets are crippled by the roster moves they’ve had to make since the summer of 2018. They do not have the assets or the cap space to provide Harden with the requisite support to make it out of the West and into the Finals.
“I think at this point it’s probably a year to year deal. If I’m speculating, I’m going to say that decision is more than likely made by James Harden instead of made by the Rockets.”
“If James Harden wants to pair with another superstar, he’s probably going to have to be the one to pack his bags. Is that next offseason? Is that the offseason after that? We’ll see. Obviously a lot of that depends on what happens with the Rockets over these next one or two years.”
We can count on this as mainly speculation, since there is no news emerging on what course of action either the Rockets or Harden will take.