James Harden says he will not need to make any changes for new teammate Russell Westbrook when the two are reunited in Houston.
A blockbuster trade for Westbrook was completed this week, giving the Rockets two of the last three NBA MVPs on their roster.
Harden played with Westbrook with the Thunder between 2009 and 2012 and is already confident about how their rekindled partnership will work out in a loaded Western Conference.
So much so, he insists nothing will need to change in his game to make the Rockets successful after Westbrook’s move.
“None. None. None,” he told reporters at an Adidas and James Harden ProCamp event when asked what adjustments would be needed.
“We played with each other in the NBA and the Olympics and all that,” Harden said. “When you have talent like that, it works itself out. You communicate. You go out there and compete possession by possession.
“You figure things out throughout the course of the season. That’s just what it is. When you have talent, you have guys with IQ, you have guys willing to sacrifice, it always works itself out.
“It’s that trust factor. I trust him; he trusts me. With the group that we already have and the things we already accomplished, it should be an easy transition for him to be incorporated right in, and things are going to go.”
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) July 17, 2019
The Rockets traded Chris Paul, whose relationship with Harden reportedly soured last season, two protected first-round draft selections and two pick swaps to Oklahoma City to secure Westbrook.
“I’m excited for this opportunity,” Harden said. “It’s a new chapter, but I know he’s excited.
“He’s been in Oklahoma City for 11 years, so it’s a new chapter for him. We welcome him with open arms. It’s going to work.
“That’s my boy right there, since I was like 10 or 11 years old. Obviously, we were teammates for years. Now, we’re at different stages of our careers. I hear a lot of negative things, ‘You can’t, he can’t, they can’t.’ But we’ll figure it out.”
The Rockets lost out in six games to the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs last season, having gone 53-29 to claim the fourth seed in the West. Westbrook’s Thunder were the sixth seed in the West and lost their first-round series against the Trail Blazers in five games.