Harden was traded to the Nets on Wednesday in a massive four-team deal that sent myriad draft picks to Houston along with Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs and Victor Oladipo.
Hardensaid as he evaluated the Rockets after their loss to the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs, he determined they weren't good enough to beat the NBA's best teams. Everybody likes them, everybody values them, so that was great organisationally, it gave us flexibility to do different types of deals as they come up this year, next year, whatever.
"Regarding Kyrie Irving and when he'll be back with the team: Part of that is up to the National Basketball Association, and we're waiting for them to come to a ruling on the Health & Safety protocol", Marks said.
For a time, the Rockets were determined to hang on to Harden, sources told ESPN's Tim MacMahon, hoping the relationship could be salvaged and they could be competitive this season. Through nine games this season, he was averaging 20 points per game.
Harden said he wasn't being disrespectful to his former teammates.
"The sooner we can be on the court together, it's going to be scary hours", Harden said.
Nikola Vucevic had 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the short-handed Magic, who lost their fifth straight.
Harden's desire to get out of Houston had been a dark cloud hanging over the team.
"Early on I felt like we all were overpassing, trying to make everybody comfortable", Durant said, "and then he just got into his mode of being aggressive to score and that opened up the whole game for others".
The NBA declared on Friday that it had imposed a $50,000 fine on Irving, who according to TMZ and widespread reports attended a large family birthday celebration while not wearing a mask.
He was asked to grade his performance so far. "I think everybody knows that I can score the ball at a high clip and that's where the sacrifice comes in at".
Oladipo, a two-time All-Star with the Indiana Pacers whose career was interrupted when he ruptured his right quadriceps tendon in January 2019, joined the Rockets for Sunday's practice.