Harden claims both he and Howard are cornerstones of the franchise…
Houston Rockets guard James Harden has insisted that aside from himself and Dwight Howard, the rest of the players on the roster can come and go as role players.
After Howard conceded that the Rockets’ loss of Chandler Parsons “won’t affect us at all”, Harden has decided to take another pot-shot by making a comment during a promotional trip to the Philippines.
“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” said Harden, Pro Basketball Talk reports.
“The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season.”
It remains to be seen how Harden fares alongside the likes of Trevor Ariza and Patrick Beverley next season, after Houston decided to trade both Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik along with the departure of Parsons.
Having missed out on both Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, the Rockets can feel slightly disappointed with their free agency recruitment strategy, and ultimately Harden is perhaps attempting to mask his own disappointment with the moves that the organisation has made this summer.
Meanwhile, Parsons will undoubtedly be aware of the comments coming out of the Rockets camp over the past fortnight, and having apologised for his own quotes regarding his exit, the views of his former team-mates are only going to serve as additional motivation to beat Houston next season.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale has previously insisted that the franchise must bring in players, but having failed to do so, they look set for a real battle in the Western Conference next season alongside the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.