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Houston Rockets

Report: James Harden wanted to play in an offense with more ball movement

James Harden Houston Rockets
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have been experiencing a ton of chaos in the last week.

In the aftermath of superstar James Harden reportedly demanding a trade, there are new reports that suggest Harden has been unhappy with the playing style in Houston.

“One league source in Harden’s orbit told me during the 2018-19 season that Harden expressed a desire for Houston to incorporate more ball movement on offense,” Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote. “This came as a shock considering he was in the middle of outpacing his MVP-season statistics from the year before, but I wasn’t sure whether to believe it. But months later, Steph Curry was recorded at NBA All-Star Weekend telling [Milwaukee] Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer that Harden wanted to stop playing ‘hero ball’ in favor of a system that emphasizes ‘beautiful basketball,’ a clip that went viral again last week following reports Brooklyn could pursue Harden to play alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.”

The Rockets could see their roster get blown up in the near future. In addition to Harden, former MVP Russell Westbrook also wants out of Houston.

Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game in his first season in a Rockets uniform. However, he wants a more prominent role again.

Of course, playing next to Harden can shrink your role. The 2018 MVP is one of the best scorers in the league.

That’s why some of the reports of Harden wanting more movement on the offensive end are surprising.

The 31-year-old Harden collected 34.3 points, 7.5 assists and 6.6 boards per game last season. He averaged the most field goal attempts in the league behind Westbrook.


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