The Houston Rockets find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
With NBA superstars James Harden and Russell Westbrook reportedly both wanting out of Houston, the duo have been the center of trade rumors all day.
No reported deals have been made official yet, because if the Rockets have to part ways with either player, they want to make sure they’re compensated handsomely.
And apparently, Houston is willing to move forward with the awkward alternative.
“The Houston Rockets feel no pressure to trade James Harden or Russell Westbrook regardless of the superstars’ strong desire for fresh starts with different franchises and are ‘willing to get uncomfortable’ as training camp opens and the season begins,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on Tuesday reported.
For Harden, an eight-time NBA All-Star, the Rockets price will be “a proven, young star as a centerpiece along with a massive picks package,” MacMahon said, also noting that the team feels no obligation to make the deal with the Brooklyn Nets, which Harden would prefer.
Having just traded Chris Paul, two first-round picks and two pick swaps last summer to acquire Westbrook — also at Harden’s request — he too will cost young talent or first-round picks, per MacMahon.
If players are going to try and force the team’s hand, Houston will play hardball.