NBA Rumors: James Harden Wanted Rockets To Hire Tyronn Lue As Coach, Per ‘The Athletic’

Amid the continued drama between the Houston Rockets and their superstar shooting guard James Harden, a new report has shed some light on one reason why the three-time scoring champion might have soured on his current team.

As quoted by Fadeaway World on Wednesday, Joe Vardon of subscriber-only publication The Athletic recently wrote that Harden and Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta had some disagreements regarding the franchise’s decision on whom to hire as Mike D’Antoni’s replacement at head coach. While the eight-time All-Star reportedly wanted Tyronn Lue to take over from D’Antoni, Fertitta supposedly preferred Jeff Van Gundy before he decided to “compromise” by hiring then-Dallas Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas.

“The point here is, Harden wanted to play for Lue, who is now the Clippers’ coach. He, like a seemingly vast majority of the NBA, spends at least part of his offseasons in Los Angeles, and would probably be open to extending his stay there. He also gives the Clippers something they honestly do not have, a dynamic, scoring ball handler.”

Per Fadeaway World, it’s likely that the Rockets’ decision not to hire Lue was not a deal-breaker for Harden. However, the outlet stressed that this was probably one of the main factors that came into play when the former MVP requested to be traded.

The above report was published before Harden finally arrived at the Rockets’ training camp after missing the first few days and underwent a COVID-19 test in accordance with the NBA’s safety procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic, per ClutchPoints. Shortly before that, reports noted that he blew off training camp last week to attend rapper Lil Baby’s birthday celebrations in Atlanta and Las Vegas.

In addition, rumors had suggested that Harden — who was previously linked to the Brooklyn Nets — mentioned the Philadelphia 76ers as one contending team he’d like to play for if he gets traded. According to ClutchPoints, there haven’t been any recent updates regarding the shooting guard’s potential move to Brooklyn, while the Sixers are purportedly unwilling to part ways with either one of their two young superstars — Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid — if the opportunity for a blockbuster deal comes along.

As further pointed out by the outlet, the Rockets are still trying to convince Harden to change his mind on his trade request and have maintained that they will only move him elsewhere if they can be assured of a “massive haul.” This would reportedly include an All-Star player, a few young prospects, and multiple future first-round draft picks, according to an earlier report from The Inquisitr.

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