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James Harden Has 'No Timetable' for Arrival to Rockets Camp, Per HC Silas

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' Danny Green, left, works for position under the basket against Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Trouble is brewing in Houston.

On Monday, Rockets head coach Stephen Silas told reporters there was "no timetable" for superstar James Harden to report to training camp.

"There is no timetable, as far as I know," he said. "It is a setback. You want your best player to be here."

Silas added: "He's not here, and he has a reason, but that's on him to tell whoever what the reason is."

Dan Devine @YourManDevine

Stephen Silas spent 20 years as an assistant waiting for his shot at a head coaching job, and he walks into *this.* just brutal.

Harden, who missed the team's opening practice Sunday because he had not cleared the NBA's COVID-19 protocols, was expected to hold an individual workout in Houston on Sunday night. That never happened, per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, who added:

"Harden, who sources say has expressed a desire to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, posted pictures on Instagram over the weekend that showed him attending rapper Lil Baby's birthday party in Atlanta without wearing a face mask. The NBA required players to quarantine at home this week other than testing at team facilities, individual workouts and essential activities such as grocery shopping."

Overtime @overtime

James Harden showed MAD LOVE to Lil Baby on his birthday 🙏 @JHarden13 (via @lilbaby4PF) https://t.co/zY1mQcn0Jj

Kelly Iko of The Athletic added that Harden was seen in Las Vegas as of Saturday evening. If there was any doubt that Harden was trying to orchestrate an exit out of Houston, it has probably been extinguished. 

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On Nov. 16, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Harden rejected an extension for "two years and $103 million on top of the remaining three years, $133 million on his current deal" with Houston and has instead "made it clear to ownership that he's singularly focused on a trade to the Nets," where he could pair up with former teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. 

The Rockets have already had a transformational offseason, parting ways with Daryl Morey and Mike D'Antoni, trading Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall and a conditional 2023 first-round pick and signing big men Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins, among other moves.

But nothing would change the Rockets more drastically than trading Harden, the 2017-18 MVP and three-time scoring champ. Everything in Houston has rotated around Harden since he joined the franchise in the 2012-13 season. To this point, Houston has resisted his overtures to be traded, but it appears the situation is coming to a head, and Harden's departure is starting to feel imminent. 

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