One day after Stephen Silas saw his team trade star guard Russell Westbrook, the rookie Houston Rockets head coach was confident his club wouldn't have to do the same with James Harden.
"I'm confident that he'll be all-in," Silas said during the Rockets' media day Thursday. "That's where I'm leaving it. As I've said, I'm giving him the space to do his thing, but I'm confident he'll be here when we get started."
The Rockets are in the midst of opening training camp after an offseason that saw Westbrook and Harden reportedly request trades out of Houston. Westbrook had his wish granted Wednesday, when he was traded to the Washington Wizards for guard John Wall and a future first-round draft pick.
Harden, 31 and entering his ninth season with the Rockets, has led the NBA in scoring each of the past three seasons. Last season he averaged 34.3 points per game, but his one-season partnership with Westbrook didn't pay off with postseason success. The Rockets finished in fourth place in the Western Conference at 44-28, but lost in five games to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Silas, who replaced Mike D'Antoni as coach this offseason, will now be tasked with forging a strong relationship between Harden and Wall, assuming Harden remains with the Rockets.
"They fit very well," Silas said about new-look backcourt. "Most of the stuff I wrote on my board stayed up there because they really fit the way I want to play. To have John Wall pushing the ball up the floor... it accentuates to play the way I want to play."
Harden reportedly has expressed a desire not to just be traded, but to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Harden, however, hasn't spoken publicly since the reports, which were shot down by his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate and current Nets star Kevin Durant on Wednesday.
"I don't know where you're making these stories up that me and James talked about any of this at a workout," Durant said.
Wall, 30, averaged 19.0 points and 9.2 assists during his nine seasons with the Wizards.
"Now that the roster is set, there is more excitement than anything else," Silas said.
--Field Level Media