James Harden Refuses to Answer Question on Status with Rockets Amid Trade Rumors

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2020

Houston Rockets' James Harden controls the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in Houston, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)
Carmen Mandato/Associated Press

James Harden is prepared to go into the season with the Houston Rockets but he refused to answer a question regarding his feelings about the team Monday:

The eight-time All-Star was a late arrival to the Rockets camp and has continued to push for a trade, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. Harden was reportedly "unmoved and uninterested in pursuing a new partnership" with new addition John Wall and there was "no change" in his desire to go elsewhere.

He reportedly turned down a two-year extension with the Rockets worth $103 million.

Shelburne and Wojnarowski reported the Rockets have had "ongoing discussions" with "several playoff-caliber teams" about a potential Harden trade.

Despite the possible front office moves, Harden has remained quiet publicly about the situation.

"Right now, I'm just focused on being here," he said after his first preseason game, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

"Since I've been here, nothing has been said about it," he added about the trade talk. "Everybody in the locker room and the coaching staff has been focused on ramping up and preparing for the season. That's all that matters."

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Harden still has at least two years remaining on his current contract but could be seeking a fresh start after changes at head coach and general manager within the organization. The Rockets have also failed to escape the second round in either of the last two years.

Houston begins its 2020-21 season on Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.