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 the Brooklyn 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 Playoffs

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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Houston has lost back-to-back games

Astros drop series to Giants with finale loss

Houston's offense came up short again in San Francisco on Sunday. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games against the Giants, the Astros tried to grab the finale to win his high-difficulty series. They came up short, though, with San Francisco once again one-upping them on offense against Luis Garcia, giving Houston back-to-back losses.

Final Score: Giants 5, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 64-42, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Logan Webb (5-3)

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia (7-6)

Gurriel strikes first, but Giants get the better of Garcia

The Astros were able to grab an early lead against Logan Webb in the top of the first, getting a runner on base to set up Yuli Gurriel for a two-run homer to start the scoring. Luis Garcia, who erased a walk in the first and a double in the second to maintain the 2-0 advantage, ran into trouble in the third. After two quick outs, Kris Bryant, recently acquired by the Giants at the trade deadline, changed the momentum with a solo homer in the first game for his new team.

They scored two more runs during the two-out rally on three hits and a walk, grabbing a 3-2 lead before Garcia would get the final out. He managed a scoreless fourth, but San Francisco got to him again in the fifth, chasing him out of the game with a two-out, two-run homer to extend their lead to 5-2. His final line in the loss: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 89 P.

Giants take series as Astros drop the finale

First out of Houston's bullpen was Rafael Montero, making his debut for his new team. He did well, getting the third out of the fifth then tossing a scoreless sixth. Phil Maton was next, coming in for the bottom of the seventh and erasing a single to keep it a three-run game. After wasting a chance with two runners on in the seventh, the Astros started a new rally in the top of the eighth, getting back-to-back hits to lead it off with runners on first and third with no outs.

They would get just one run from it, though, making it 5-3, which would go final after a scoreless bottom of the eighth by Ryne Stanek and a 1-2-3 inning at the plate by Houston in the top of the ninth. That gave the Giants the series and left the Astros reeling from back-to-back losses as they turn the page to another high-caliber opponent to finish this road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel to the last leg of this road trip, Los Angeles, before a day off on Monday. Tuesday, they'll pick up a quick two-game series with the Dodgers, with Lance McCullers Jr. (8-2, 3.23 ERA) for the Astros going up against Walker Buehler (11-1, 2.19 ERA) for LA in the opener at 9:10 PM Central.

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