It’s a question being asked by the Houston Rockets as they prepare for the new NBA season, with the team’s coach Stephen Silas describing Harden’s absence from Sunday training as a “holdout.”
Silas, in his first ever head coaching job, said: “As far as timetable, there is no timetable, as far as I know. And it is a setback. You want your best player to be here.
“There is some time, but it is a setback. I have to be honest and understand that this is a setback not having one of the best players in the NBA here.”
2018 NBA MVP Harden has been an All-Star eight times and has earned six All-NBA First Team honors.
Silas, however, said it was unclear to him what Harden desires, or where Harden is, admitting he didn’t know if Harden was even in Houston.
“I have no clarity about the message, honestly,” he said. “I take it basically at face value that he’s not here. What the reasoning is, is on him. He’s the one who can explain why or why not he’s not here.
“For me to make inferences and think about the possibilities isn’t real to me. What’s real is he’s not here, and he has a reason, but that’s on him to tell whoever what his reason is.”
Asked what will happen next and whether there would be a punishment for Harden on his return, Silas said: “I’ve been in situations before where it was a holdout, and we just kind of handled each individual situation on its own merit and individually. As far as any sort of punishment, we haven’t even crossed that bridge yet. We’re just trying to work piece by piece.”
Harden has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.
Westbrook was acquired in a trade with the Wizards for point guard John Wall.