ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported Harden remains steadfast in his desire to be traded, with the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers as preferred destinations. Harden requested a trade during the offseason, citing a desire to compete for a championship.
Westbrook also requested a trade from Houston after his one-year reunion with Harden apparently failed to work for either party.
The Rockets have been strong-willed in their desire to get value commensurate to Harden's skill level in trade talks. They have reportedly engaged with the Sixers and Nets but have not found an offer to their liking. Philadelphia has been unwilling to include Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons in trade talks, essentially stalling the process before it begins. The Nets lack a high-end star on the level of Simmons, who is seen as by far the best individual player Houston could get in a theoretical Harden trade.
The Rockets are asking for "a package that includes a young franchise cornerstone and a bundle of first-round picks and/or talented players on rookie contracts."
After a brief, club-hopping holdout last week, Harden reported to Rockets camp and has been undergoing a non-contact period with teammates while he records negative COVID-19 tests. Harden and the Rockets are reportedly committed to keeping the relationship professional while the team seeks a trade, knowing a divorce is inevitable.
Harden is expected to practice with the team for the first time this week.