Rockets Rumors: Harden, Tucker, TPE, Oladipo

When the Rockets finally moved James Harden last week, multiple reports indicated that it came down to the Nets and Sixers. However, those weren’t the only two teams with legitimate interest in the former MVP during the final days of the Harden sweepstakes.

According to Kelly Iko and Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Celtics remained in the hunt for Harden in the later stages of negotiations. While Danny Ainge publicly said that Boston and Houston hadn’t had any recent discussions, sources tell The Athletic that the Rockets saw the C’s as “part of their process” until the end. Iko and Amick report that Houston also received multiple “big” offers from teams that weren’t on Harden’s wish list.

Still, according to The Athletic, by the time Harden gave his infamous final press conference as a Rocket – during which he criticized the team as “not good enough” – he knew a move to Brooklyn was close. He had been receiving regular updates on the situation, per Iko and Amick, who say that the Sixers’ interest was “very real,” but that the Nets kept upping the ante with their offers.

Here’s more on the Rockets and the Harden saga:

  • According to Iko and Amick, Rockets held a team meeting following their second consecutive blowout loss to the Lakers last week, and John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins both spoke, seeking answers about Harden’s level of commitment, buy-in, and accountability. Harden made it clear during that meeting that the newcomers hadn’t been in Houston long enough to understand what was going on, per The Athletic. Jae’Sean Tate would later describe that meeting as the point where the Rockets “drew the line” on the situation.
  • A contract extension offer is on the table for P.J. Tucker, but he hasn’t accepted it and appears to have tabled those negotiations for now, sources tell Iko and Amick. While Tucker is prepared to spend the rest of the season with the team, he also wouldn’t necessary be opposed to a trade, according to The Athletic. A separate report indicated that the Rockets are demanding three second-round picks in return for the 35-year-old forward.
  • Rockets GM Rafael Stone said over the weekend that the team plans to be aggressive in attempting to use the $10.65MM traded player exception it created in the Harden deal. Iko and Amick suggest that’s not just posturing — the team has also privately indicated it will attempt to use that TPE to land a quality player.
  • Stephen Silas‘ high opinion of Victor Oladipo was a factor in Houston’s decision to acquire him, Iko and Amick report. The Rockets want to take a serious look at Oladipo in the coming months and decide whether he fits into their long-term plans. For his part, Oladipo intends to evaluate the fit as well, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes. “If things work out, if I’m happy,” Oladipo said, adding that he’s “blessed and fortunate” to be in Houston. “Essentially, it’s like a business plan. You have to go through every aspect of the business plan, kind of figure out if you want to invest in it.”
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17 thoughts on “Rockets Rumors: Harden, Tucker, TPE, Oladipo

  1. Sillivan

    Rockets still want to win this season because this summer first round pick was swap to Thunder

    • Sillivan

      Do you trust Rockets GM that Rockets are aggressive to use $10.65 TPE and pay luxury tax?

      Iko and Amick do trust

    • whiplash

      The only hope is that the Thunder finish with a worse pick than the Nets. That way they can then swap up to the Nets pick after the Thunder swap with the Rockets

      • Sillivan

        This summer Rockets 1 pick swaps two times
        Rockets swap with Thunder – favor
        Nets swap with Rockets – favor

        My projection
        Rockets 8th worst team in the nba
        Thunder 6th worst team in the nba

        Rockets would get benefit if Nets finish with 1 to 5th worst team

        • Walladipo and Wood

          Houston is currently tied for the 6th worst record in the NBA. They will move up way more than two spots by the end of the season. Maybe 8th worst record in the West, no way 8th worst in the NBA.

          • Sillivan

            No excuses
            Rockets assets collections are players with injury history and fake swaps
            Can the fake swaps be traded?

            Rockets fans believe that Wall and Boogie will be back to their prime
            I believe that Rockets will continue to cut costs

          • KnickerbockerAl

            You really should be over predictions with Rockets. Live in the now, today. Let the season play out. Rockets have more important issues than where they wind up after 56 more games.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      They have Blazers pick if it’s outside lottery (14). Which it should be. They could trade into lottery. Very deep lottery next yr.

  2. phillyballers

    Anyone else bummed out that Boogie will just be Elton Brand post-Achillies? Wall and KD recovered. Dude had some great skill as a Center. Now he’s like a cross between the best version of Mo Buckets (Speights) and Cream E. Biggums.

  3. El Don

    What a joke is HOU & their players if they expected Harden to be committed & buy-in the team… hadn’t he told’em enough times he wanted out… some people either don’t listen or don’t get it! SMH!

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Bro ….. you must have been a go-go dancer in a previous life. You love Harden more than Rocketmvp
      Aren’t you a Laker fan. Harden is happy where he is.

    • Rocket32

      El Don You can request a trade while also not disrespecting all your teammates on your way out. If you’re intentionally gonna selfishly drag the team down just don’t show up, but Houston did enable him to become the classless selfish spoiled brat he is today.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Rockets should move PJ. He was a Harden supporter. No need to keep him now. At 35 it’s best to get value for him now. Rockets need to move forward. Look to the future.

  5. Jeff Zanghi

    I think Tucker could be a nice fit for the Celtics. And given how many young recent draft picks they already have on their roster. One would figure they don’t really need to be all that focused on keeping their 2nd round picks. 3 might be a little steep for a guy who really is only a rental AND Isn’t exactly putting up all that many points per game. having said that he is shooting a phenomenal 45% from 3 right now and could be a really solid piece of the bench for a relatively low cost. Unfortunately he’s making too much $ to be acquired for their smaller TPE (Kanter around $5M) so they’d either have to send out a comparable players salary in the deal or dip into their big TPE. which idk might be a waste of it instead of holding onto it if a guy making $20M and would be a bigger addition to the team were to become available.

    • Jeff Zanghi

      Maybe they could use their $5M TPE to acquire someone on an expiring $5M contract and then package him with someone like Langford and a couple 2nd round picks for Tucker thus preserving their big TPE. Then giving up on Langford so quickly might be a bit of an overpay. Unfortunately they don’t really have many/any good contracts to trade. They’ve got walker and brown making big $ smart at around 10m then Tatum and Thompson making $9m+ and Theis at $5M but none of those guys should be traded for Tucker. So finding the $ could be a little tricky without using a TPE

  6. stevep-4

    Oladipo looked great tonight. But my guess is he’s trying to raise his ask from Miami in FA. That TPE is not that valuable unless they use it to absorb a player to facilitate someone else’s trade and get a pick for their help.

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