One of the biggest rumors of last season was a possible reunion between James Harden and the Houston Rockets. It was even reported on Christmas Day that the team had interest in bringing back the former MVP during this summer’s NBA Free Agency. However, it is now being reported that those plans changed once they hired Ime Udoka as their new head coach. Given the drama surrounding Harden this summer, the team most likely made the right choice.
Houston Rockets’ Interest in James Harden Declined After Hiring Ime Udoka as Head Coach
James Harden’s Tenure With the Houston Rockets
Despite the drama with him now, one cannot take away what Harden accomplished with the Rockets. It makes sense why they had interest in bringing him back. After all, he won an MVP with them and was also a former scoring champion. During his time in Houston, Harden put up totals of 29.6 points, 7.7 assists, 6.0 total rebounds per game, and an effective field goal percentage of 52.6 percent. Harden also possessed an offensive rating of 118 to couple with a player efficiency rating of 26.7 during his days in Houston.
Also, like everywhere else he has played, Harden always made the postseason with the Rockets during his nine years with the Rockets. However, those days are behind him and the Rockets are looking to a new future cultivated by young talent.
A New Direction for the Young Team
The Houston Rockets have been one of the busiest teams this offseason. Not only did they draft Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore, they also signed Fred VanVleet, Jeff Green, and Dillon Brooks. Many questioned this mix of veteran talent with youth, but time will tell if this pans out or not. Once the team hired Udoka as the new head coach, their pursuit of Harden died down.
Reportedly, Udoka did not want to reset the Rockets culture and wanted a new mindset going forward. Not to mention, the team wanted more defensive-oriented players going forward, thus the Dillon Brooks signing. Had they signed James Harden this offseason, many of these signing would have been impossible to pull of this summer. The Rockets are a team in rebuild, but with a few more smart draft picks and patience, they could be a force to be reckoned with in the next couple of years.