After last week's blockbuster trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Wizards and John Wall to the Rockets, all eyes are trained on Houston's biggest name: what does the future hold for James Harden?
Right now, it doesn't involve practicing with the team.
Harden, a potential Sixers mega-trade target with Daryl Morey here in Philadelphia, still hadn't reported to the team's facilities for training camp as of Monday, two days after Wall's introductory press conference in Houston on the first day of Houston's team workouts.
New Rockets head coach Stephen Silas called the superstar's absence a "setback" and had to answer questions about potentialy disciplining Harden:
Well then! That certainly sounds like a situation headed towards one of two conclusions: Harden accepting he's not getting traded and reporting to camp late and disgruntled... or Harden getting traded.
Harden and Westbrook were both rumored earlier this offseason to be concerned about the direction of the Rockets' franchise. Westbrook was then traded, which took care of that. Harden, the face of the franchise for the past eight seasons, is reportedly interested in a trade to a contender, primarily the Nets but also potentially the Sixers, who he was said to be interested in as a trade destination.
Harden also dropped a very curious emoji on Instagram on Sunday afternoon:
It's all very dramatic.
So should Sixers fans be excited about an impending move?
From everything that's been reported out of Houston, the Rockets organization doesn't seem to be in any hurry to trade Harden, one of the best players in the league who gives them a surefire playoff spot every season.
But this kind of behavior probably doesn't sit well with the team, and makes a new head coach's job all the more daunting. So we'll see if Houston finally acquiesces, just to get rid of this headache.