The Houston Rockets will square off against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Toyota Center on Tuesday, January 12. The NBA regular-season game is scheduled to begin at 8:00 PM ET (Wednesday, January 13 at 6:30 AM IST). However, social media has been abuzz over whether Rockets talisman James Harden will play against the Lakers or not, given the trade rumours around the 31-year-old.
During the offseason, eight-time NBA All-Star James Harden requested a trade away from the Rockets. Several reports claimed that the Sixers were set to sign the disgruntled Rockets superstar, but weeks into the 2020-21 NBA regular-season, it sounds like their pursuit of Harden has taken on a different look. With the Sixers currently in third place in the Eastern Conference standings, their interest in Harden seems to have cooled off.
Although Harden has been linked with several other NBA teams, no deals have seemed close as he continues to play for the Rockets. The Western Conference outfit have still managed to keep a hold of their superstar eight games into their NBA 2020-21 campaign and Harden still has two more years left on his current contract with the Rockets. His massive salary and the Rockets' asking price are also complicating factors for any possible trade.
Harden still remains the key man for the Rockets if they are to grab a playoff berth this season. Head coach Stephen Silas will be hoping to keep a hold of Harden as the rumours around the former Thunder star have now begun to cool down. The Nets and the Warriors have also previously been linked with a move for Harden.
Despite the rumours around James Harden, the Rockets guard is in line to feature against the Lakers on Tuesday night. Harden is currently averaging 26 points, 11 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game in the regular season. He managed 20 points, nine assists and 6 rebounds in the game against the Lakers on Sunday.
Although the Rockets won't be happy with the ease with which the Lakers got their win on Sunday, the rematch is bound to be a cracker. The Rockets currently sit in 14th place on the Conference table while the Lakers are at the summit of the division.