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NBA Trade Rumors: James Harden threatened to quit if the Houston Rockets didn't acquire Russell Westbrook last offseason

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five
Evan Tiwari
ANALYST
Modified 16 Dec 2020, 23:06 IST
Rumors
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The Houston Rockets have been in turmoil over the last few weeks. NBA Trade Rumors have emerged regarding the franchise's talisman, James Harden. Reports have linked him with a move to teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. A new update has surfaced regarding Harden's situation and we take a quick look at the latest findings.  

NBA Trade Rumors: James Harden threatened to quit if the Houston Rockets didn't acquire Russell Westbrook

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

According to ESPN's NBA insider Tim MacMahon, James Harden threatened to quit the Houston Rockets if they didn't move for Russell Westbrook last year. Other key details also came out in the article by McMahon, which detailed how the 2018 MVP enjoys superstar status in Houston. Interestingly, the piece also revealed that Harden's special treatment has often led to complacency in the postseason. 

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

Also Read: Utah Jazz vs. LA Clippers Prediction & Match Preview - December 17th, 2020 | NBA Preseason 2020-21

The story threw light on James Harden's authority within the Houston Rockets organization. The star reportedly went on short trips repeatedly throughout the season and trained according to his will. This behavior annoyed Russell Westbrook, who prides himself on being one of the most hard-working and disciplined players in the league.

MacMahon's update doesn't come as a surprise, since James Harden had previously pressured the Houston Rockets to make a move for a superstar in 2018 as well. The Rockets ended up signing veteran point guard Chris Paul from LA Clippers after weeks of speculation in NBA Trade Rumors at the time. However, the partnership did not endure and Paul was moved in the last offseason in exchange for Westbrook. 

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The Houston Rockets gambled on their future by signing Russell Westbrook. The franchise gave up Chris Paul, 2024 and 2026 first-round picks, as well as swap rights in 2021 and 2025. It's safe to say that Houston didn't get the desired return, as the Rockets crashed out of the 2020 NBA postseason in the second round. 

James Harden has been one of the best players in the league in the last few years, racking up individual honors almost every season. However, the former OKC Thunder star has come up short in the playoffs and has just one Western Conference Finals appearance to show for his efforts. 

James Harden has now expressed his intent to part ways with the Houston Rockets as per NBA Trade Rumors. His decision leaves the Western Conference heavyweights in jeopardy. The Rockets have obliged all of Harden's wishes until now, and it will be intriguing to see how the franchise handles his latest request.

Also Read: Minnesota Timberwolves vs Dallas Mavericks Prediction & Match Preview - December 17th, 2020 | NBA Preseason 2020-21

Published 16 Dec 2020, 23:06 IST
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