Harden began to consider pursuing a trade due to growing doubts about the Rockets’ ability to fight for a title, sources told Wojnarowski, Shelburne, Lowe.
Houston’s trajectory has focused this offseason after the franchise parted ways with head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey, who had both been at the club for several years. The Rockets replaced D’Antoni and Morey with Stephen Silas and Stone, respectively, but both are stepping into those positions for the first time in their careers.
Harden’s star teammate Russell Westbrook reportedly told Rockets officials earlier that he wanted to leave the team. Harden has not spoken publicly about his future, but has apparently said he is “locked” in the franchise and the season ahead in response to Westbrook’s apparent business demand.
Durant and Harden recently talked about reuniting in Brooklyn, according to Wojnarowski, Shelburne and Lowe. The two were teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder for three seasons before the team traded Harden to Houston in 2012.
Harden has averaged 29.6 points, 7.7 assists and six rebounds while shooting 36.2 percent from three since joining the Rockets. The former MVP has also led the league in scoring in each of the past three seasons. His 36.1 points per game in 2018-19 was the highest average since Michael Jordan ended the 1986-87 campaign with 37.1 points per game.
The 31-year-old will earn $ 41.3 million next season.