Guard Eric Gordon said he believes the trade that sent James Harden, the disgruntled mainstay of the franchise, to the Brooklyn Nets, allows the Houston Rockets to have “real direction” under the direction of head coach Stephen Silas of first year, after a chaotic start to the season.
“Obviously, you could tell from the summer and since the season started that I didn’t want to be here,” Gordon said after practice Thursday, when he was the only member of the organization available to the media. “For us, I think it just gives us the opportunity to [tener] a real address. Everyone else on the team can focus and not care about their situation. We can move on. “
Gordon was later ruled out for Thursday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Rockets announced a three-team deal with the Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday morning. Houston’s net loot in the deal is four first-round picks (from the Nets in 2022, 2024, and 2026 and from Milwaukee in 2022 via Cleveland), the right to trade first-round picks with the Nets in another four years, former Cavs point guard Dante Exum and former Nets point guard Caris LeVert and forward Rodions Kurucs. LeVert will be redirected to the Indiana Pacers in a separate trade by former All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, sources said.
The deal brought resolution after an awkward few months in which Harden demanded a trade, stayed out of training camp, and declared the Rockets “just aren’t good enough” after Tuesday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. , which ended up being the MVP’s last game of 2018 in a Houston uniform.
“On behalf of the entire Rockets organization and the city of Houston, I would like to thank James Harden for more than eight incredible seasons in the Rockets uniform,” Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said in a statement. . “James has given us so many fond memories as we have watched him grow from Sixth Man of the Year to All-Star and MVP. My family and I also want to thank James for his many contributions off the court, including generous charitable donations and multiple community events annually. We wish James the best of luck and will always be grateful for the memories. “
Rockets center DeMarcus Cousins criticized Harden for being “disrespectful” hours before the trade was finalized Wednesday, saying Harden’s actions and comments had been “completely unfair” to his Houston teammates.
Gordon, who came to Houston before the 2016-17 season and was Harden’s oldest Rockets teammate, didn’t take Harden’s comments so harshly.
“For me, knowing him personally, I don’t think he really meant it in terms of disrespecting us,” Gordon said. “That’s just my opinion. I think he just wanted a different situation. He has shown that, and he also said it … I don’t think he really wanted to disrespect the players, but he wanted out. And he got it.”