The Houston Rockets’ offseason has been a roller coaster of information so far. The day after their second round playoff exit, Head Coach Mike D’Antoni stepped down. Next, General Manager Daryl Morey also resigned. This began trade demands and rumors from Houston’s two star players, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Morey quickly took a job for the Philadelphia 76ers and D’Antoni took an assistant coach position under Steve Nash with the Brooklyn Nets. Both of these men have been Harden’s biggest supporters over the years, so when rumors started that Harden wanted to go to Brooklyn or join Joel Embiid in Philly, it wasn’t hard to understand why. The Rockets promoted Rafael Stone to General Manager after working directly under Daryl Morey. Stephen Silas was given his first Head Coaching position after his offensive presentation blew the front office away.
Westbrook’s name began showing up in trade rumors all over the NBA. Teams like the Hornets, Wizards and even the Clippers are just some of the teams interested. Westbrook has made it clear that he wants a change of culture in Houston, but said on Instagram that the rumors were completely fabricated.
With all the changes being made in Houston, one has to wonder if the issues are with the owner, Tillman Fertitta. In past seasons, Fertitta has been weary about paying the luxury tax. Is it the culture he’s creating that is causing employees and players to leave?
The Rockets have spent the last few days quietly signing a lot of young talent. Trevelin Queen, Brodric Thomas, Sterling Brown and Kenny Wooten, to name a few. They traded Robert Covington to Portland shortly before the draft and lost Austin Rivers and Jeff Green in free agency.
The biggest moves so far are the 3 year deal signed with Christian Wood and a 1 year deal with DeMarcus Cousins. Two big men who can shoot threes. Now that the Rockets have size, and likely the most talented front court in their most recent years, could this be enough to keep Harden?
If the Rockets can trade Westbrook for John Wall from the Washington Wizards or even Paul George with the LA Clippers, all of this off season chaos could be the making of another playoff contending team.
Featured Image Credit: Associated Press
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