HOUSTON — James Harden is back in Houston after missing the start of Rockets training camp and was going through the NBA’s COVID-19 testing protocols on Tuesday.

Coach Stephen Silas said after Houston’s practice that the disgruntled superstar had arrived in the city and was getting tested but didn’t have much information beyond that.

“That’s pretty much all I know right now,” he said. “It’s kind of some moving parts to it, I assume. But him getting tested in Houston is good for everybody.”

Silas said he hadn’t spoken to Harden and had no comment on reports that the All-Star wants to be traded.

“I don’t have anything to do with that,” Silas said. “But him being here shows a level of commitment to what we have going and what we have going forward. And that’s that.”

Harden’s absence comes after the Rockets traded Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall and a first-round draft pick last week. The Rockets have expressed no interest in trading Harden despite months of reports that he wants to leave the team.

The Rockets open the preseason on Friday at Chicago. Silas said he wasn’t sure if Harden would be with the team for that game, but it seems unlikely that he would be able to play if he just began testing on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, ESPN reported that the perennial All-NBA guard told the Rockets he would be open to a trade to the Sixers or possibly other contenders. This comes after he had requested to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, for whom Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have formed a superstar nucleus.

NUGGETS: Guard Monte Morris has agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract extension with Denver.

His agent, Ron Shade, confirmed the deal Tuesday. It’s fully guaranteed with incentives that can move it closer to $9.5 million per year. Morris is coming off a regular season in which he averaged 9 points and 3.5 assists per game. He played a big role during Denver’s postseason run to the Western Conference finals, where the Nuggets were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 25-year-old Morris was a second-round draft pick in 2017 out of Iowa State. He has become a reliable part of Coach Michael Malone’s rotation over the past few seasons. Morris dressed in all 82 games during the 2018-19 season. He averaged 10.4 points and 3.6 assists.


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