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NBA Rumors: Houston Rockets Release James Harden, Dwight Howard for Kevin Durant Free Agency

( [email protected] ) Jun 07, 2016 10:25 AM EDT
The Houston Rockets surprised the NBA community this season when they had to desperately claw their way up in the Western Conference. With the likes of James Harden and Dwight Howard in the roster, this poor performance was considered a disappointing display for the team. While the Houston Rockets made it to the NBA playoffs 2016, they embarassingly lost the first series to the Golden State Warriors. Needless to say, the front office is not happy.
Feb 23, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and center Dwight Howard (12) leave the court after the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Utah won in overtime 117-114. Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets surprised the NBA community this season when they had to desperately claw their way up in the Western Conference. With the likes of James Harden and Dwight Howard in the roster, this poor performance was considered a disappointing display for the team. While the Houston Rockets made it to the NBA playoffs 2016, they embarrassingly lost the first series to the Golden State Warriors. Needless to say, the front office is not happy.

Since his entry in the Houston Rockets roster, James Harden has been the center of the NBA team. That is, the basketball squad always have him in mind when recruiting players in their roster. Hence, the failure of The Beard to effectively lead the team came as such a frustrating situation. Moreover, Harden's inability to mesh with Dwight Howard - a costly player signed up to help him on the hardwood court - pushed the Houston Rockets to reconsider their latest decisions.

The opportunity to right all the wrong moves in such a promising team comes this incoming offseason. With the Kevin Durant free agency market in full swing, the Houston Rockets are expected to come up with a great offer to the Oklahoma City Thunder star. How will they do it?

It looks like the Houston Rockets aim to land the Kevin Durant free agency deal by getting rid of major expenses in the roster. That is, the NBA team will reportedly trade James Harden and Dwight Howard to make room for the cap space to be offered to KD. With two of the biggest earners out of the roster, the Houston Rockets can comfortably pitch a skyrocketing salary to the 2014 NBA MVP.

Is this a good move? Should the Houston Rockets just give up James Harden and Dwight Howard to pursue a more promising and efficient leader in the hardwood court?

The answer might be in the negative. Rumors are rife that the Houston Rockets are looking into using James Harden as the bait for Kevin Durant to sign with the team. With the basketball stars' earlier relationship in Oklahoma, the Beard becomes an attractive addition to a potential luxurious contract for KD in Houston.

"Durantula," shared Harden when asked who among the free agents will be the target of the Houston Rockets. He added, "Yeah, I mean, San Antonio has a lot of good players. Obviously, Durant is a 3 and they've got Kawhi Leonard over there, so I don't know about that. But I mean, Kevin is a smart guy. He had a really good season. Obviously, it didn't turn out the way he wanted to, but ultimately he'll make the best decision for himself and his family. So we just gotta sit back and relax and wait."

Meanwhile, another devastating news came for James Harden. With the release of the names of the basketball stars who made it to the All-NBA team, the Houston Rockets star found himself absent from the list that featured LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry.

"That's extra motivation for me, you know, to come back and be a better basketball player overall," said Harden of the All-NBA snub. He added, "I'm not going to get down on myself. I know what I bring to the table. That's another reason why I'm more excited about what we have as far as coaching staff and players coming in next year. So, you know, more motivation for me. I've got to get back in the gym, better myself, and everything else will work itself out." 

Tags : NBA rumors, Houston Rockets, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard