Harden confident in Morey, won't recruit

Harden confident in Morey, won't recruit
June 28, 2014, 5:15 pm
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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) following the end of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center.

(USA Today Sports Images)

Two years ago, as the 2012-13 NBA offseason free agent period was about to begin, the Houston Rockets were a team without a star. Fast forward to today and the Rockets are positioned to be major players on the July 1 opening to free agency in pursuit of their third star.
 
During an appearance Saturday in The Woodlands, James Harden expressed support for the Rockets' reported plan of trying to lure a top player to Houston, most notably LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony.
 
"Obviously, they would help us a lot, either one of those guys," Harden said. "Two terrific players and they're both great players and hopefully we can get one of those guys."

Harden said he hasn't talked to James or Anthony and doesn't plan to.
 
Houston won 54 games last season, tied for fifth-most in franchise history. However, the Rockets were unable to advance past the first round, something the team has done just once since 1997.
 
Harden came to the Rockets in a trade with Thunder in 2012 and Dwight Howard signed with Houston as a free agent a year later, so Harden has great confidence in general manager Daryl Morey's ability to make big things happen.
 
"Daryl is motivated," Harden said. "That's one thing I like about him. He'll do whatever it takes. That's the reason I'm here, that's the reason Dwight's here. He's focused on what he wants and he's gonna go get it. I'm behind him."

Harden was the first star-quality player to be brought in two seasons ago and he and Howard, who joined him in Houston this past offseason, were selected to first and second team all-NBA this past season.  
 
Anthony has informed the Knicks that's he's opting out if his contract and will be a free agent when the negotiating period begins on July 1.
 
ESPN and Yahoo! reported Anthony will make visits to Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles as soon as the free agent period begins on July 1. He is still said to also be considering a return to the New York Knicks
 
It was reported earlier this week, that James would do the same and reports on Saturday indicate teammates Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem will also opt out, as expected. Many believe each of these players opted out of their contracts in an effort to stay with the Heat, but also allow the team to have some room under the cap to pursue additional players. Riley earlier this offseason said the Heat need to "retool, not rebuild."

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