Rockets Notes: Harden, Wall, Westbrook, Roster

Shortly after Houston traded Russell Westbrook to Washington on Wednesday night, Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported that the Rockets‘ stance on James Harden hadn’t changed and that they didn’t envision a scenario where he’d be traded before opening night.

Following up on that report, Jordan Schultz of ESPN (Twitter link) asked a Rockets source if the club is done making offseason moves.

“Yes, we are done!” that source replied. “Can’t always say for sure but that’s the plan.”

While the Rockets are seemingly intent on keeping Harden for the time being, John Hollinger of The Athletic believes it’s just a matter of time before they’ll have to make a deal. Hollinger believes the Rockets will likely attempt to duck the luxury tax again this season, further weakening the roster in the process, and says teams around the league are waiting to see if Houston gets serious about moving Harden during the season or in the 2021 offseason.

Here’s more out of Houston:

  • Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up (video link) this morning, Adrian Wojnarowski said that Harden “had a preference of John Wall over Westbrook.” While that may be the case, it’s worth noting that a year ago we heard that Harden’s preference was Westbrook over Chris Paul, and that didn’t work out great.
  • In the wake of the Westbrook trade, Zach Lowe of ESPN explained on his Lowe Post podcast that the market for the former MVP was virtually nonexistent outside of Washington’s offer. “The Clippers were not interested,” Lowe said, per RealGM. “The Knicks were not interested unless they were incentivized. I don’t know where the Hornets noise came from — maybe it was credible. All I can say is, from the people I know there, I never heard they were interested. There was, to my knowledge, nothing.”
  • The Rockets’ decision-makers don’t believe that the trade for Wall alters the “suddenly strained dynamic” between Harden and the team, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Insider link).
  • New Rockets head coach Stephen Silas said today that he expects to have his full roster available when practices begin on Sunday, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. If Silas is right, that suggests that no Rockets were among the 48 players who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
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24 thoughts on “Rockets Notes: Harden, Wall, Westbrook, Roster

  1. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    They’ve gotten younger trading CP3 (35) for Westbrook (32) then him for John Wall (30).

    • Sillivan

      Chris Paul overpaid $10 million each year
      Westbrook overpaid $20 million each year
      Wall overpaid $30 million each year

    • Tatsumaki

      They have also gotten worse each trade. Paul just lead okc to playoffs by himself, westbrook averaged a triple for 3 seasons prior to being traded to Houston, wall hasn’t played in 2 years and suffered an injury which hurts his best attribute (speed)

    • GoLandCrabs

      And the contract has gotten worse with each move. But yeah it will be great for the Rockets to pay out his 47 million player option.

      • 22Leo

        And it seems they keep moving closer to trading Harden and going for a full rebuild. May be just media speculation, but it does not seem like the Rockets organization, in general, has much of a plan.

  2. The Human Rain Delay

    At this point should Hou give a rip about Hardens “preference”-
    From this point out just do whatever is best for you Hou…. leave the contractual players “man feelings” at the door when thinking about YOUR future

  3. Sillivan

    MVP Westbrook has no market

    Clippers don’t want him because of his salary

    Knicks want Rockets future picks for taking Westbrook contract
    Rockets have traded 2 Firsts and 2 Swaps for Westbrook

  4. DeathbyDeathwest

    At the rate Harden is going, next off-season he’ll want Bledsoe instead of Wall.

  5. x%sure

    I guess if Harden wants Wall more, and they can gain a first in the process, trigger it. Star happiness is worth more wins than the moderate talent difference… but it’s getting ridiculous and the star wants out too. It won’t work but has to be tried. Tier 2 at best.

  6. dfree123

    Looks like Harden Westbook MVPs has changed his name. Wonder how long before he has to change it again to Wall and Wood?

  7. buttholesurfer69

    Harden has a “preference” for Wall but is demanding trade to Bkln smh

    • 22Leo

      Could just be media speculation. Could also be that Harden liked the idea of getting out of Houston to join the Nets, but when that seemed unlikely, preferred a trade for Wall. It certainly seems Westbrook’s desire to get out was real, though. It also seems like Harden is not exactly committed to the Rockets franchise. I don’t think anyone, including their franchise player, has any faith in what they are doing. I would almost feel sorry for them if so many of their fans weren’t so obnoxious. No offense to the relative few who are actually realistic and objective.

  8. phillyballers

    Yes we are done this offseason, doesn’t mean 1 day in Harden isn’t dealt.

    • 22Leo

      I think all it would take for Harden to get traded to a contender is him saying he is willing to be a number two option…I also don’t think he knows how to do that. If he did say that…I would bring out the polygraph.

  9. implant

    So the Rockets traded a first and two pick swaps and Chris Paul for Wall. That’s a horrible sequence of events. They have no choice but to deal Harden. Oh and they signed Gordon to 4/78. Bad times ahead

  10. bravesfan88

    Wow, looking at their roster, the Rockets pretty much have ZERO DEPTH!! If they have an injury to either Cousins, Harden, Wall, Tucker or Gordon then they’re pretty much riding about the 8th-9th seed in the West…

    This is EXACTLY what Hatden deserves for being such a pans with the style of basketball he plays. No one really wants to play with him because he dribbles WAAAY too much, he chokes when the lights are the brightest, he is a bad leader, and because he flops and tries to constantly cheaply draw fouls!!

    Personally, until he learns to be a good leader, learns to become more efficient, and until he stops whining and complaining to the refs all the time, I hope he stays in purgatory being on a middling Rockets team going nowhere fast!! That is EXACTLY what he deserves and what he has earned..

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      You’re not looking very hard, are you? They can go 11-deep if they want to. Harden, Wall, Wood, Tucker, and House are starting. Gordon, Cousins, Ben McLemore, and Sterling Brown will be the backups. They also have David Nwaba when they go 10-deep. Kenny Wooten, Bruno Caboclo, Jerian Grant, and Jae’Sean Tate will also get minutes throughout the season.

  11. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    I can’t wait to gloat when everyone here is shocked by the Rockets greatness!!

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