Would Rockets blow it up, trade James Harden? That’s ‘not for this offseason’
The perfect small ball coach in Mike D'Antoni is gone. The GM who brought James Harden and created this roster, Daryl Morey, also walked out the door. The Houston Rockets have almost no squad flexibility and are tied to a small ball style this summer, and that roster is perhaps the sixth best in the west.
All of this has led to much speculation that "the missiles should be trading with James Harden now while he is on top and blowing everything up".
Don't bet on it, at least not this summer. That's what the guy who probably knows the rockets best from the outside says Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. He said this on the Pushin 'Thru / Athletes Unfiltered podcast (hat tip hoopshype).
“Blowing up and starting over is nothing for this off-season. And the reason I'm pretty sure about it is that they keep James Harden updated and get his input on coaching, discussion and reflection. You wouldn't involve him if you were going to send her anywhere. "
For the record, Fiegen says Harden and Westbrook will push for John Lucas as the next coach. He is one of the finalists.
The Rockets were the four seeds, hitting a pace of 50 wins in the west last season, led by the game's best pure bucket getter in Harden. It's a good team. It's a fantasy basketball gambit to say, "Blow this up and let's win and suck 21 games." Even if the idea of doing this pivot sooner rather than later makes sense, if you pull the trigger and blow it up on the move, it's not the way basketball organizations are wired. They are looking for ways to win now.
Much will depend on who the coach is and how the next season goes for Houston, but both Harden and Westbrook have two fully guaranteed seasons (each over $ 40 million per season) and a third year of player option on their contracts . They may be looking for a Westbrook deal this off-season, but Harden is at the heart of the franchise and it's harder to convince the owner to take that move. In the next off-season (whenever that is) it is possible that Harden will look around, see an older and inflexible cadre around him and want to be acted on. Then it starts.
Don't expect that this summer.
Read more about the Houston Rockets
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Daryl Morey, general manager of Rockets
Would Rockets blow it up and deal with James Harden? That's "Not For This Off-Season" which was originally posted on NBCSports.com
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