Report: Dwight Howard and James Harden Tried to Get Each Other Traded
According to a report from Fran Blinebury of NBA.com, Houston Rockets stars Dwight Howard and James Harden tried to get each other traded in 2014.
If you follow the NBA at all, this probably does not come as a huge shock. However, it does illustrate just how broken the Rockets actually are.
Everybody knew what the Rockets were getting themselves into when they signed Howard before the 2013-14 season. Howard was a prima donna center who whined his way out of Orlando, then chaffed when it turned out that Kobe Bryant wasn’t going to step aside and let him be the guy for the Los Angeles Lakers. Harden had just blossomed into a superstar shooting guard in his first year in Houston, averaging 26.3 points per game by dominating possession. There was no way Howard and Harden were going to get along. And they didn’t.
Following their first round playoff loss to the Portland Trailblazers in 2014—you know, the one with the Damian Lillard buzzer-beater—neither Howard nor Harden felt the two could co-exist. And according to Blinebury, both of them “were sending out messages and maneuvering to get the other one traded.”
Of course, things seemed to improve last season. Harden didn’t give Howard the ball, instead holding on to it enough to average 27.4 points per game and finish second in MVP voting to Steph Curry. But the Rockets gelled enough to make it to the Western Conference Finals.
This year? Different story. The Rockets are a total disaster. And since Harden is better, four years younger, and much cheaper than Howard, they will almost certainly trade Howard before today’s trade deadline…if they can find a team willing to take on a $17 million cap hit for a guy who will be a free agent at the end of the year…and a team willing to ignore this:
Since Jan. 1, the Rockets are 6-10 when Dwight Howard plays and 5-0 without him. They’re allowing 9 fewer PPG without him in those games.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 11, 2016
Sounds like something the Sacramento Kings might be interesting, no?
(Sorry, Kings fans.)
Hat Tip – [Bleacher Report]