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Tilman Fertitta has assured James Harden of trade, but on Houston’s timetable

January 13th, 2021

After not receiving the trade he reportedly asked for in the offseason, frustrations appear to be boiling over for Rockets superstar James Harden after Houston’s 3-6 start to the new season.

“We’re just not good enough,” Harden said after Tuesday’s blowout loss at home versus the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. “Obviously chemistry, talent-wise, just… everything. It was clear.”

“I love this city,” he said. “I’ve literally done everything I can. This situation is crazy. It’s something that, I don’t think it can be fixed.” Harden then walked off the podium at Toyota Center after taking just two questions.

Per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Harden expressed his preference for a trade before the season to Houston owner Tilman Fertitta, who has since given Harden assurances that a deal will get done at some point. However, it will be on the team’s timetable. MacMahon writes:

Harden made it clear to owner Tilman Fertitta before the season that he did not believe in the franchise’s direction and ability to contend and preferred to be traded to a team that was in a better position to win, sources said.

Fertitta was disappointed but told Harden that he would explore the trade market on the Rockets’ timetable. He has since continually given Harden assurances that he will trade him, and empowered new general manager Rafael Stone to trade the three-time scoring champion, who has three years and $133 million with a player option for the final season remaining on his contract, when he finds a deal he likes.

This season’s trade deadline arrives on March 25. However, with Harden under contract through at least the 2021-22 season, the Rockets could potentially keep Harden until at least the 2021 offseason, depending on when they think the best offers will come from other teams.

What remains to be seen is whether Harden’s public outburst on Tuesday might change the equation and expedite his inevitable departure.


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This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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