Speculating Why James Harden is Hell Bent on Leaving Houston Rockets

Published 12/14/2020, 10:45 AM CST
Aug 24, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) takes a break during the second half in game four of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The James Harden fiasco isn’t a secret anymore. He’s going through a rough patch with the franchise he’s been playing for since 2012. This could be the beginning of a very bitter relationship. The question is, why’s Harden hell-bent on leaving the Houston Rockets, the very place that considers him a pillar to rely on?

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Harden has contributed immensely to the Rockets’ growth. They have become one of the dominant teams, all thanks to ‘The Beard.’ However, he just doesn’t see any future with them anymore. They’ve never had a real shot at a championship and it seems like Harden’s decided to switch to a team that will bring him one.

Harden’s trigger behind wanting to leave has a lot to do with the front office overhaul. When Stephen Silas replaced Mike D’Antoni after another disappointing season, and GM Daryl Morey resigned to join the Sixers, it wasn’t much of a surprise when Harden showed interest to move on. He demanded to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, so he could play alongside former teammate, Kevin Durant!

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When the Rockets failed to meet that request, Harden never turned up for the team’s first training camp. This created a controversy in the league and almost everyone disliked how Harden dealt with the situation.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts after getting called for a foul in the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers in game four of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rockets won’t tend to James Harden and his requests

The unrest between Harden and the Rockets could end soon if either party agrees on a compromise. The Rockets won’t mind trading the 3x NBA Scoring Champion for a suitor that blows them away, but that option is just not there right now.

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There’s one thing that NBA history has taught us. Trading a player like Harden and not getting a fair return can lead to the team getting crippled for good. Plus, the Rockets have the advantage of not being under any pressure to trade an impending free-agent.

Harden has two more seasons left on his contract. So, the Rockets don’t feel the threat of him leaving in a hasty manner. Also, the possibility of Harden changing his mind still exists. However, given the situation, it seems highly unlikely.

Sep 10, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives against Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) and guard Danny Green (14) in the second half in game four of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As of now, Harden has no option but to stay with the Rockets. The team will once again look to make a mark in the highly competitive Western Conference. It’s only a matter of time before we get to witness what the Rockets do with their cornerstone player, James Harden.

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Yashima Bhatia

1214 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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