HOUSTON -- With the trade deadline nearly two weeks away, one of the more powerful voices in the Houston Rockets organization wants to the team to stay put.
"I love what we have, love it," leading scorer MVP candidate James Harden said Wednesday. "From top to bottom, we have depth. You can throw any guy in there and they know their role, that's important. I'm going to ride with these guys for sure."
"I love what we have, love it. From top to bottom, we have depth. You can throw any guy in there and they know their role, that's important. I'm going to ride with these guys for sure."James Harden
Rockets GM Daryl Morey is noted for trades, small and large. He made one during last season's 41-41 season and another two years ago when the team reached the Western Conference finals.
According to sources, the Rockets expressed interest in acquiring another shooter and were in serious discussions with Cleveland for a Mike Dunleavy Jr. deal which would have included K.J. McDaniels but pulled out. Dunleavy Jr. was later traded to Atlanta.
Houston looked into signing free agent guards Mario Chalmers and Jarrett Jack but haven't pulled the trigger. With Harden taking over the primary ball-handling duties, the Rockets want to add another ball-handler to take pressure off him and Patrick Beverley, who moves to point guard with the second unit. There is also some interest in Orlando power forward Serge Ibaka, who is apparently is on the trade block. Ibaka scored 28 points in 40 minutes in the Magic's loss at Houston on Tuesday night. Ibaka would bring a defensive presence and another shooter that could fit into Mike D'Antoni's offense. In late December when the Rockets lost starting center Clint Capela to a fractured fibula, ESPN's Marc Stein reported Houston entertained acquiring Sacramento center Kosta Koufos.
"I think if we do anything, it will be for depth," Morey told ESPN. "I don't see any big things happening. We got a good thing, a good rotation, good chemistry. I'm pretty reluctant to make any changes there."
Houston has the third best record in the NBA and has emerged with Harden, as the MVP leader, D'Antoni one of the favorites for Coach of the Year and Eric Gordon for Sixth Man of the Year award. Houston has strong victories over Golden State, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Memphis.
Rockets officials believe it's difficult to make a deal considering how strong the team is playing and don't want to disturb the chemistry that has developed.
Yet, Morey made three in-season trades during the 2014-15 season where the Rockets won 56 games and reached the West finals.
"We're good," Harden said. "I've been riding with these guys for some years now, and some (players) are new and it's the same [good] thing. This summer we got the guys together and I said this is the roster and this is who we're going to war with and let's figure it out."