James Harden wants out of Houston, and it looks like he may not be alone.
Rumor has it that the Rockets have a “verbal agreement” in place to trade the eight-time NBA All Star to the Brooklyn Nets, per his request. But why would Harden want to turn down a historic two-year, $103 million extension?
It looks like it might be political.
NBA Insider Ric Bucher on Tuesday joined “The Odd Couple,” a Fox Sports radio show with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker, to discuss Harden’s trade request and what may have motivated it.
Bucher expressed that Harden doesn’t want to play for Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, in large part because of his support of President Donald Trump. Here’s what Bucher had to say:
But what I heard is ? and we know how much politics and political position had to do with the boycott and protests during the Bubble ? I?m hearing that Tilman Fertitta?s strong Republican support and donations is one of the things that is contributing to this dissatisfaction, and those two (Westbrook and Harden) are not the only ones to want out of Houston. Lesser players are of the same mind. There is a revolt here because they look at Fertitta as a guy who supports the current President.
Whether this is the actual reason or not, something bigger has to be at play considering how the small-ball Rockets gelled this year, posing as a threat to the rest of the league and making a deep run in the NBA Playoffs.
Maybe we’ll see if Harden confirms or denies this in the coming weeks.