The James Harden drama is seemingly never-ending, with a new report on Christmas Eve stating the Houston Rockets’ three-time NBA scoring champion has two new preferred teams in his trade request.
Sources told The Athletic that the Houston Rockets guard has recently deemed the Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers among his preferred destinations. Brooklyn and Philadelphia were the first teams to receive that distinction back in mid-December, followed by Miami and Milwaukee being added in the weeks thereafter.
Harden was previously linked to the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks—his second pair of preferred teams after the initial Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers report leaked several weeks ago. The former MVP has locked horns with the Rockets over the last month or so after failing to show up to training camp and missing some preseason games while claiming to be working out and training elsewhere (namely, Atlanta and Las Vegas).
Further, Harden was caught attending a private indoor party while not wearing a mask. The one-time Sixth Man of the Year with the Oklahoma City Thunder was fined $50,000 by the league, with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver explaining no suspension was levied on Harden due to the first-time offense along with $50,000 being the maximum allotted in his authority.
The Rockets were unable to tip off with the Thunder on Wednesday in the two teams’ first game of the 2020-21 season due to a positive COVID-19 test in Houston’s locker room—stemming from an incident being investigated by both the team and league when John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and rookie Kenyon Martin Jr. went for a haircut at a private residence away from the Rockets’ facility, breaching health and safety protocols. That game was postponed to an unknown later day.
It’s unclear when James Harden will be traded, but it appears his time with the Rockets is at its conclusion.