James Harden still absent from Rockets amid trade rumors; no timetable for return, coach says
Rockets coach Stephen Silas said there is no timetable for James Harden’s return to the team as the star guard continues to stay away from the franchise amid trade rumors.
Harden reportedly wants to be traded to the Nets, where he would reunite with former Thunder teammate Kevin Durant and team up with Kyrie Irving.
Talk of Harden’s future has been further amplified after Russell Westbrook was dealt to the Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a first-round draft pick last week.
Harden was absent from Houston’s first practice of training camp on Sunday because of coronavirus protocols, but the 2017-18 NBA MVP did not report for an individual workout later in the evening. The eight-time All-Star was a no-show again Monday.
“There is no timetable, as far as I know,” Silas said after practice of a Harden return. “It is a setback. You want your best player to be here.”
“I have no clarity about the message, honestly,” Silas said. “I take it basically at face value that he’s not here. What the reasoning is, is on him. He’s the one who can explain why or why not he’s not here.
“For me to make inferences and think about the possibilities isn’t real to me. What’s real is he’s not here, and he has a reason, but that’s on him to tell whoever what his reason is.”
Silas, who replaced Mike D’Antoni at the end of the 2019-20 season, added: “I’ve been in situations before where it was a holdout, and we just kind of handled each individual situation on its own merit and individually.
“As far as any sort of punishment, we haven’t even crossed that bridge yet. We’re just trying to work piece by piece.”