The Houston Rockets have told James Harden to stay home until a trade for their discontented star can be completed.
Harden was not at practice Wednesday, Rockets coach Stephen Silas said.
“We felt that it was best for the group and best for James not to come to practice,” Silas told reporters.
The Rockets front office is weighing best final offers from Brooklyn and Philadelphia, ESPN reported.
The moves to shelve the 31-year-old Harden comes in the aftermath of Harden’s rant Tuesday night after the Rockets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, 117-100, to drop to 3-6 on the season.
“I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed,” Harden said after the game. “We’re just not good enough — chemistry, talent-wise, just everything. And it was clear these last two games.”
ESPN reports that talks with the Nets and 76ers have accelerated in recent days, even before Harden’s comments. The Rockets want a young cornerstone player as well as a package of first-round picks, per the report.
Harden, an eight-time All-Star, has three years, $133 million with a player option for the final season remaining on his current deal.
Harden is averaging 24.8 points per game – down from his career average of 25.2 – after reporting late to training camp. However, his assists are up to 10.4 per game from a career average of 6.3.
Harden has led the NBA in scoring in each of the past three seasons with averages of 30.4, 36.1 and 34.3.
The Rockets traded Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall in a battle of point guards just before the start of camp. Westbrook’s one-year teaming with Harden didn’t pay off, as the Rockets lost in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs in five games to the Los Angeles Lakers.