As rumors swirl about the potential return of James Harden to the Rockets, Paul George has weighed in on the matter, expressing his belief that such a move could hinder the growth of Houston’s rising star, Jalen Green.
Following the disappointing playoff exit of the 76ers, speculations emerged that Harden might opt out of his contract and make a comeback to Houston, where he spent nine years. However, George, speaking to Green on the Podcast P, shared his personal opinion on the matter, stating that he wouldn’t bring Harden back to Houston.
George emphasized that Green is the future of the Rockets and that the team has already made their commitment by selecting him with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He acknowledged the challenges Green has faced as a young player, being double-teamed and targeted by opposing defenses. George expressed concern that adding a ball-dominant player like Harden could potentially hinder Green’s growth, despite the benefits of learning from Harden’s experience.
In George’s own words, he said, “Personally I wouldn’t [bring Harden to Houston]. That’s your team, you’re the king of Houston. They made their decision on who the future is. When you pick a guy with the fourth pick, he’s our guy, you know what I mean? And so they full on committed to who the future is…
“Like you said, you’ve got to go through being double-teamed, being triple-teamed, being the target every time. You’ve got to go through that. And bring on someone like James who’s such a ball-dominant player. That’s gonna hinder your growth a little bit regardless of how it can elevate you on another level of him teaching you and you learning off of him. I feel like you’ve already been through the fire, so let you continue to learn.”
Throughout the past season, Green showcased his talent, averaging an impressive 22.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 34.2 minutes per game. George acknowledged Green’s ability to navigate through the challenges and urged the Rockets to let the young star continue his development.