Culture change coming soon

Here's why the Rockets should trade James Harden sooner than later

How much time does Harden have left in Houston? Photo by Getty Images.

This offseason has been a debacle for James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Rockets head coach Stephen Silas has already gone through trials and tribulations with both Russell Westbrook and Harden. Silas took the job because of the excitement Westbrook and Harden bring, and he thought he had their approval of becoming their head coach. But it didn't take long before Westbrook was traded to the Washington Wizards for John Wall, and Harden made it known that he wants out.

All the players seemed eager to get started and reported to individual workouts and training camp at Toyota Center, except for James. Harden was in Las Vegas having a good time with rapper Lil Baby and friends. On Sunday and Monday, during press conferences, Silas seemed frustrated after Harden told management he would report to camp on Sunday evening.

"There is no timetable, as far as I know, it is a setback. You want your best player to be here," as Silas said Sunday evening after practice. "He's not here, and he has a reason, but that's on him to tell whoever what the reason is."

As of Tuesday, Harden finally left the party atmosphere to report to training camp. Since Harden was seen without a mask inside of Drai's Nightclub, his COVID results must comeback negative six times. Although the testing procedures can be a slight inconvenience, Silas seemed optimistic and energetic about his appearance at training camp.

"Him [Harden] being here shows a level of commitment to what we have going on," as Silas said about Harden coming to camp.

Even though Harden returned to camp, the situation became stressful because of the trade request he asked for. Reports were saying that Harden wanted out when Silas was hired as the Rockets' head coach. The organization dealt with the same chaotic situation in November when Harden requested a trade the first time. Honestly, the Rockets should honor Harden's request, so no feuds occur with Silas or his teammates.

Although Harden requested a trade, his teammates will still feel comfortable when he makes an appearance in a Rockets uniform. Gerald Green, John Wall, and DeMarcus Cousins are hoping Harden can accept the energy of the Rockets' culture and make the right decision for himself.

"All we can control is what we control. The guys that are here, we're coming out working every single day", as Cousins told the media. "Hopefully, whenever it is he comes in and joins in, he matches the energy of the group."

Green wants the Rockets and Harden to co-exist, so they're able to win a championship this upcoming season. If not, he wants Harden and the Rockets to make the right decision so the team can succeed long-term.

So far Harden has added the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat to his preferred trade destinations, to go along with theBrooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.

There is no point in trading with the 76ers if they will not give the Rockets Ben Simmons in exchange for Harden. The Rockets already said Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving must be included if they want Harden in a Nets uniform. The Bucks would possibly have to give up Khris Middleton,Donte DiVencenzo, and first-round draft picks which could be between 25-30 overall in the draft. Meaning, a third team would likely have to be involved for the Rockets to make a deal happen with the Bucks. If the Rockets make a deal with the Heat, however, hopefully that trade package includes the talented Tyler Herro.

Herro erupted for 37 points against the Boston Celtics in the playoffs, which was in Orlando at the bubble. He would be exactly what the Rockets need because of his elite shooting, and he's only 20 years old. Herro made the All-Rookie team in the 2019-2020 season by shooting 39 percent from the perimeter. Even though Herro averaged 13.5 points per game as a rookie, he averaged 16 points per game and shot 37.5 percent from the perimeter in the playoffs.

Tyler Herro 37 Pts Full Game 4 Highlights | Celtics vs Heat | September 23, 2020 NBA

For now, it's a wait-and-see situation for Rockets fans. The season starts in two weeks, but the Rockets first preseason game is against the Chicago Bulls this Friday night. Hopefully, Harden and the Rockets come to an understanding or a trade happens before the regular season starts.

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The Houston Texans seem to be focused on repairing their image. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

"It's a new day, yes it is!" That's how the theme song from one of my all time favorite wrestling tag teams/groups starts. One of my favorite lines says "Can't change the past/Gotta let it unfold." If this doesn't apply to the 2022 Houston Texans, I don't know what does.

Over the last few years, the Texans have been a laughingstock. From a comedy of errors under Bill O'Brien, to Cal McNair's reputation as Tommy Boy, Jack Easterby was once thought to be some sort of Boogeyman, to the fans finally having had enough and fighting back with their wallets. Things haven't been smooth sailing on Kirby Drive. It started to look like a never-ending rainy day for a while. Then it happened. Nick Caserio came in riding his white horse and the weather started clearing up.

Initially, some were still skeptical, yours truly included. We had every right to feel that way. He was yet another in a line from New England. "Patriots South" was beginning to look like a real thing, even though Cal denied it. Before he could get settled, his franchise quarterback wanted out and was also found out to be an alleged pervert. That's when Caserio started to push all the right buttons.

Some people thrive under pressure. Some crumble worse than a dry ass Popeye's biscuit. Caserio is one of the ones that has managed to make coals into diamonds. Armed with a bad cap situation, devoid of draft picks in his first draft, a talented QB who wants out, and an owner trying his best to do the right things, he navigated it all masterfully so far. He traded Watson for a nice haul and used those picks in this past draft to address some concerns. Knowing the QB talent was better in the upcoming draft, he's giving Davis Mills an opportunity to show what he's got. Their collective appearance on The Pat McAfee Show recently was to show the national media something we here in Houston see every day: there are new faces of this franchise, and it's headed in the right direction.

While Mills still has to prove he can be the franchise QB, Caserio has done a good job of putting talent around him to place him in a position to succeed. If Mills is a hit, the team can use the draft capital to improve other areas of the team, and Caserio has another feather in his cap. If Mill isn't "the guy", the team will draft one of the top prospects and move on. Third round QBs that don't work out aren't seen as failures per se because expectations aren't as high. However, I believe Mills' floor is a career backup and he still holds value even if he isn't seen as a starter. Besides, who wouldn't want a guy who went to Stanford in the QB room?

Easterby has faded into the background after being thrust into the spotlight. He seems to have been thrown in the ring with a grizzly bear and come out unscathed. Lots of us were wrong about him. I now believe he was forced into a situation he wasn't prepared for, made the best he could out of it, and is now settling back into the role he originally sought out, which is the owner's right-hand man and a team/player development type of guy.

The person who deserves just as much, if not more, credit than Caserio is Cal. He went from Tommy Boy to Boss Hog in the matter of a year or so. The story of him playing video games sitting on the floor of his office fed into the perception of him being a doofus. Now, he's literally kissing babies, handing out shorts, and grilling for the fans. He's been seen at the forefront of food/water drives, as well as being very visible and accessible to fans at training camp.

These are the new faces of this franchise moving forward. Look for newer players to take some of their places when their play starts to equal wins for this team. "Get us back on the right road/On the right track/On the right flow (That’s right)/Live in the future that we all know."

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