James Harden Wanted Trade as Soon as Rockets Hired Stephen Silas as Coach

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Everyone knows that All-Star guard James Harden is a seeking a trade from the Houston Rockets, but why?

According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, it all started when the Rockets hired Stephen Silas as coach.

“Early on in the Rockets’ coaching search, management asked for Harden’s input, and Silas, the son of former NBA player and coach Paul Silas, was not among Harden’s top choices,” Zillgitt wrote, citing a source.

Previous reports suggested that Harden preferred Rockets player development coach John Lucas, a candidate for the job. Lucas lost out to Silas, but Lucas remains with the team in a similar role to the one he had under former coach Mike D’Antoni.

As for Harden, a report Thursday from The Athletic suggests he has expanded his “wish list” of potential trade destinations to the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat. He has been linked to the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, but a trade involving either of those teams seems highly unlikely. Neither would want to give up what the Rockets want in return.

Harden did finally report to training camp after missing almost the entire first week, and now he has to undergo a series of COVID-19 tests before he’ll be allowed to practice.

And so it goes in today’s always chaotic NBA, where it seems like no matter where a star player is located, he’d rather be someone else.

As Rockets coach Stephen Silas said of the Harden situation, “Obviously, it wasn’t a good start to it. But that’s the NBA.”

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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