Rockets All-Star James Harden arrived at the NBA’s Orlando restart campus on Tuesday evening, five days after most of the rest of his club touched down, per a video tweet from the team’s official Twitter account.
The 2018 NBA MVP did not travel with the rest of the Rockets for undisclosed reasons. Harden is averaging 34.4 PPG, 7.4 APG and 6.4 RPG in 61 games this season, his eighth All-Star campaign in Houston.
Tonight’s arrival is in line with the targeted mid-week estimate that Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said the team had been aiming for as recently as Sunday, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Before Harden can join his teammates at practice, he will have to quarantine within his hotel room. Next, Harden will have to test negative for COVID-19 over three straight days and undergo a physical conditioning test, per Rachel Nichols of ESPN (Twitter link) and Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link).
Despite the arrival of Harden, the Rockets will continue to be without a few players for now. Harden’s fellow All-Star guard Russell Westbrook announced yesterday that he did not travel with the team because he tested positive for COVID-19. Westbrook hopes to join the Rockets once he recovers.
Forward Luc Mbah a Moute also did not travel with the Rockets last Thursday for undisclosed reasons. Additionally, after accidentally breaking the campus’s quarantine restrictions, Mbah a Moute’s fellow forward Bruno Caboclo has been forced to re-isolate for seven more days.