NBA Free Agency 2020: The Houston Rockets are under no pressure to trade their star players, James Harden and Russell Westbrook regardless of their strong inclination towards leaving. They are “willing to get uncomfortable” as the free-agency season starts.
It has been a turbulent start for the newly promoted Rockets’ general manager Rafael Stone. While both of his star players want to leave the franchise, he remains adamant about his high asking price.
The training camps start in just 12 days on the 1st of December, and while both the All-Stars are still under contract with the Rockets, they will have to come to training even if they are discontent.
The Rockets consider the time to be on their side. Both the superstars are under contract for two more seasons.
Harden and Westbrook each have $133 million over three years which includes player options in the final seasons remaining on their contracts.
While keeping Harden and Westbrook is a priority, the Rockets have agreed to trade their forward Robert Covington to the Portland Trail Blazers. The deal involves the Rockets receiving the No. 16 pick in the draft tomorrow, a future first-round pick, and Trevor Ariza.
Where could Russell Westbrook be heading?
According to ESPN, Washington Wizards are interested in Westbrook. The trade will see 5 times All-Star John Wall head to the Rockets. Although, John Wall was sidelined last year in December due to an Achilles injury.
Back in February, the Wizards announced that their point guard would be out of basketball for at least a full year after rupturing his Achilles while slipping and falling at his house worsening an initial injury he had suffered at the end of December.
Westbrook also had some interest from Micheal Jordan-owned Charlotte Hornets, but no offer has been received yet from either team.
Where could James Harden be heading?
James Harden has been a perpetual MVP candidate and has led the NBA in scoring the past three seasons. They are demanding a steep return in order for Harden to join another team.
The Brooklyn Nets are the favored destination for the 2017-18 MVP. Harden recently became the first man to rejected a $50 million a year offer from the Rockets in order to leave.
We could see him reunite with his former teammate Kevin Durant and coach Mike D’Antoni. Harden averaged 34.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 7.5 assists last season for the Rockets.