3 reasons Rockets must think twice about James Harden reunion after latest playoff disaster

James Harden is heading for another offseason without an NBA Finals ring. The former NBA MVP wilted under the spotlight in the final two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Boston Celtics. Harden had 22 points total in the last two contests, going 7/27 from the field in the process. It is yet another chapter in a playoff book on Harden’s lack of success in the postseason. With Harden set to be a free agent this summer, many are predicting that the rough end to the Sixers season will culminate in his departure. One of the teams that is rumored to be interested is his former stomping grounds, the Houston Rockets.

Harden had the best seasons of his career so far in Houston, winning an NBA MVP award and posting multiple seasons with a scoring title. He also won plenty of games in Houston, albeit those coming during the regular season. If he were to return to the Houston Rockets, he would be coming back to a completely different roster and direction of the organization. His interest is not surprising, as his love for the city of Houston has been well documented. However, from the Rockets point of view, it would not be wise to go after a reunion with James Harden.

There are many reasons why Harden and the Rockets should not get back together; there are three in particular that should cement why it is a bad idea. Here are the three reasons why the Rockets should think twice about a reunion with their former superstar, James Harden.

*Stats via ESPN

James Harden is not a winner

The Houston Rockets might be in the midst of a rebuild, although they already have enough young talent that they could be close to becoming a more serious competitor. Adding James Harden would diminish any thought of that; it would make them a better regular season team, but in no way would make them a playoff contender. Harden has been defined by his inability to be a consistent superstar in the playoffs, which was showcased again this season. If the Rockets added Harden, they would just be accepting the inevitable. They might win more games, but they would never get over the hump.

Harden’s best chance to win is being on a team where he is the second option, like his current situation. Although it didn’t work out this year, if he truly wants a ring, he would stay with the Sixers. Coming back to Houston would once again make him the first option and all but doom the Rockets aspirations of being a serious contender. Harden can’t be the number one option on a winning team, which would be the case with a Rockets reunion.

Continued development of Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr

The Rockets are currently headlined by young stars; Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are the two with the most potential, and have led the offense ever since their arrival. Bringing in Harden would delay their development dramatically. Opportunities they need to have to3 continue to get better would ultimately disappear with Harden needing the ball in his hands to be an effective playmaker. Both Green and Porter Jr excel as isolation scorers and facilitators and would lose their strengths with Harden on the roster.

The development of the Houston Rockets young talent should be their absolute priority right now. Not only would bringing in Harden be an obstacle to that development, but the money required to attain him would handicap them for any future desires of keeping their young stars. Green in particular is looking like he will eventually demand a very lucrative contract, thus making it irresponsible to invest so much in Harden. If Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are going to reach their potentials with the Rockets, Houston should not go after Harden.

Ime Udoka needs to build his own culture

Ime Udoka will be the new head coach for the Rockets next season and the pressure will be on. Returning from the scandal that sent him packing from Boston will only be successful if he can establish his own culture early and often. Bringing in Harden wold essentially make this Harden’s team, and would limit Udoka’s ability to create the environment he wants. For this team to succeed and develop like it can, Udoka needs to foster an environment that focuses on being a safe and encouraging community for his young talent. With Harden in the locker room, the Rockets would be about the return of their former superstar.

Udoka has a lot to prove himself to show he is the right man for the job. All things he and the Rockets should be focusing on would take a backseat to Harden, thus stalling the development of a cohesive unit. Ime Udoka should make his voice heard now and demand that the Rockets do not go after Harden and prioritize what is currently on their roster. If not, Ime Udoka might struggle being the voice in the Rockets locker room he needs to be.

The post 3 reasons Rockets must think twice about James Harden reunion after latest playoff disaster appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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