NBA Investigating if James Harden Violated COVID-19 Protocol
December 23Matt LaMarcaSportsGrid
The Harden saga continues in Houston. He reportedly lobbied for a trade out during the offseason and followed that up by reporting to the team at less-than-ideal fitness. Now, the NBA and the Rockets are investigating whether or not Harden broke COVID-19 protocol after a video of him at a strip club began circulating on social media. If the video is determined to be recent, it would put his availability for Wednesday’s season opener vs. the Thunder in jeopardy.
If Harden is ruled out, it’s going to open up a ton of opportunities for the rest of the roster. He posted a usage rate of 36.3% last season, and that was with Russell Westbrook also commanding a high usage rate. John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were both superstars in their prime, and both players will be given the opportunity to regain their status with the Rockets this season. Christian Wood was also signed during free agency, and he dominated in his only preseason game. Finally, Eric Gordon remains in Houston, and he would be the most likely candidate to replace Harden in the starting lineup.
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