The future of James Harden with the Houston Rockets has been speculated about following the departures of Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey this offseason coupled with the team’s limited ways of improving their roster and the tenuous financial situation of Tilman Fertitta.
The Rockets cashed in most of their remaining trade chips over the past year-and-a-half for Russell Westbrook during the 2019 offseason and then Robert Covington ahead of the 2020 trade deadline.
“What I can say is right now the Rockets are 100 percent committed to trying to cash in on James Harden’s prime,” said Tim MacMahon on The Woj Pod. “They consider him the best player in the league, which you know… He’s without question a perennial MVP candidate. That’s just a simple fact. They’re going to try to win a championship as long as he’s at that level and as long as he’s on board.
“I think at this point it’s probably a year to year deal. If I’m speculating, I’m going to say that decision is more than likely made by James Harden instead of made by the Rockets. In other words, it could get to a point… And I don’t believe this is imminent. Again, I think it’s a year-to-year situation where at some point James Harden, who has tried repeatedly to pair with a superstar to give him a chance to a championship: first Dwight [Howard], then Chris Paul and now with Russ. If James Harden wants to pair with another superstar, he’s probably going to have to be the one to pack his bags. Is that next offseason? Is that the offseason after that? We’ll see. Obviously a lot of that depends on what happens with the Rockets over these next one or two years.”
Harden can become a free agent in 2022.