5 NBA stars who struggled to find success with James Harden at Houston Rockets

Modified 13 Nov 2020

Carmelo Anthony

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers

Carmelo Anthony was James Harden's teammate at the Houston Rockets for the 2018-19 NBA season.

After the Houston Rockets dominated the West in the 2017-18 regular season, onboarding Anthony looked like a great signing. Still, he was not the player we once knew anymore, and his fit with James Harden and Mike D'Antoni's philosophy was not great.

The Houston Rockets signed Anthony in the 2018 off-season, trying to fill the void created by the departures of key assets Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. However, the fit was bad for the team, and Anthony only played 10 games with James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

Chris Paul

Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards
Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards

Chris Paul was traded from the LA Clippers to the Houston Rockets in 2017, and he helped James Harden and the Rockets dominate the Western Conference in the regular season. The 2017-18 season was the best in franchise history, with 65 wins and the top seed in the West, and James Harden winning the MVP award.

Though Paul played 58 games in the regular season, the team was playing well, and pairing Paul and James Harden seemed to work. In the NBA Playoffs, the Houston Rockets reached the WCF, where they had a 3-2 lead against the mighty Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant.

CP3 was having a tremendous series before he suffered a hamstring injury in game five of the series and missed the last two games. The Houston Rockets then signed Paul for a four-year $160 million contract, but the team was not the same the following year and Paul and James Harden had their own personal issues.

Paul ultimately got traded to OKC.

Russell Westbrook

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five

Russell Westbrook was traded to the Houston Rockets in a deal that sent Chris Paul to the OKC Thunder.

Westbrook, a former MVP, had played with James Harden in the OKC Thunder during the early years of their careers. The pairing of two ball-dominant players was always risky, but they still managed to handle it decently during the regular season. However, Houston's offensive rating was not as high as the previous two years.

Sill, the team had a 44-28 record in the regular season, and it was interesting to see them in the NBA Playoffs. However, they barely managed to beat OKC in a seven-game series in the first round and then lost to the LA Lakers in five games.

Now, with Mike D'Antoni out and GM Daryl Morey leaving, Westbrook's displeasure with his role alongside James Harden has been reported, and the former MVP is allegedly trying to leave the Houston Rockets.

Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: Bucks Looking to Trade Eric Bledsoe as Interest Grows for Houston Assets

Published 13 Nov 2020
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