Is this the end for the Houston Rockets?

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The Houston Rockets are left with limited options as Russell Westbrook demands a trade after one season with the team.

Tristan Baldeo, Staff Writer

Going into the offseason, the Houston Rockets were a team that had many questions up in the air. Now they face a new challenge in an attempt to keep this franchise alive.

Following their playoff exit to the Lakers, coach Mike D’Antoni departed from the team after another year of failure. With so many failed attempts under Harden’s offense and the likes of Westbrook not making things any better, it was hard to see the path the Rockets would take.

A month later, during their search for a new coach, general manager Daryl Morey then decided to step down after 13 years. This is when the idea of hitting the reset button truly became an option, with a new front office and coach coming in, it seemed like it would be the best moment.

During Daryl Morey’s era with the Rockets, he managed to accomplish great things, making a name for himself as an executive. The Rockets with Morey held the second-highest win percentage in the NBA behind the San Antonio Spurs and now hold the longest playoff streak. Morey won the NBA’s Executive of The Year Award in 2018 after the Rockets finished with a franchise-high record of 65-17 and achieved many more amazing fleets.

Houston finally made a move replacing D’Antoni and Morey last week, by introducing Stephen Silas as their new head coach and Rafael Stone as their new general manager. The Rockets would continue to fill out their coaching staff moving forward from these signings as well.

Then comes yesterday morning, the turning point for the Rockets franchise. Both James Harden and Russell Westbrook are reported to express concerns about the future of the Houston Rockets, leaving the Rockets fearful of the loyalty and commitment of these two individuals.

This report would then soon lead to total anarchy for the Rockets organization.

The exact same night, it would be reported that Russell Westbrook wants out of Houston following only one season with the team and thus chaos would begin.

Westbrook would state that he was “uneasy about the team’s accountability and culture, and has a desire to return to his prior, floor-general role” via The Athletic.

Reports further came that key role players Eric Gordon, Danuel House, and Austin Rivers were dissatisfied with the roles they have on the team currently. Trevor Ariza felt disrespected during his time with the organization and P.J. Tucker was then rumored to be irritated with his contract situation, feeling as if he was not being paid enough.

James Harden is rumored to be committed to the Rockets still, yet the choice to rebuild this team may leave them no choice but to trade Harden as well. 

Harden’s trade value is at an all-time high, waiting any longer will only lead to it going down more as he grows older. While the Rockets constantly desired to stay in contention with Harden and to not explore trade options, they don’t have many other choices remaining.

Westbrook’s trade value might be the lowest it’s been in a while on the other hand, and no matter what is received in that Westbrook trade, it will not be enough to mark James Harden and the Rockets as championship contenders again.

The Rockets are a team running out of time, and this is more evident now than ever before. With a lack of trade pieces and any young talent or any notable draft picks, as well as an angry mob of players, hitting the reset button needs to happen sooner rather than later.

The NBA trade hiatus comes to an end on November 16th, and major things could happen to this roster as a whole moving forward from that date.

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