James Harden won the MVP award last season after losing out to Russell Westbrook the year prior. Harden led the Houston Rockets last season to one of the best records in Houston's history, but came up short against the Warriors -- losing in Game 7 in the Western Conference Finals.

Recently, however, photos surfaced on Twitter showing that Harden [VIDEO] has put on some weight since last season.

Enjoying the summer

According to an article by 12up, the guard looks very out of shape. NBA fans might think that the MVP would stay in shape, however, that does not seem to be the case. It looks as though the guard has put on a few pounds since he was last on the court.

If James Harden doesn't get into better by the time the next NBA season arrives, the Rockets could have some issues. Adding fat can have an impact in terms of decreasing speed, strength, and endurance -- all of which are needed during the regular season and playoffs.

Boxing workouts

The last photo above looks to have been taken while Harden was doing boxing workouts with teammate PJ Tucker. According to an article by Rocketswire: "James Harden and PJ Tucker are already fighting now, at IronGloves Boxing Gym in Tempe, Arizona."

Both were looking to get a good workout in and prep for the coming NBA season.

The pair took photos at the gym while working out. Boxing workouts are great for improving strength, speed, endurance, and even coordination, and it looks like Harden needs it, as he gained some weight and seems out of shape. Staying in shape can be a troublesome task for many.

The article mentions other stars who have taken to boxing to get a good workout in like Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The guard will have to be in terrific shape to score points for his team, which he is used to doing as the Rockets' number one option.

The team's outlook

Even after losing players like Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, the Rockets are still a top team in the Western Conference. The team plans to sign veteran Carmelo Anthony and see if they can get any assets for Ryan Anderson. The team shot poorly in their Game 7 loss to the Warriors, and Chris Paul was out due to injury.

They also signed Chris Paul to a lucrative deal to stay with them and gave center Clint Capela a hefty contract. Other teams have gotten better, with Kawhi Leonard going to the Toronto Raptors despite still being interested in signing with L.A. [VIDEO] The Rockets will look to defeat the Warriors, who have also improved this offseason.