Chris Paul on the move again, James Harden potentially too, as NBA’s trade window opens
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THE OTHER POTENTIAL BLOCKBUSTER
Early Monday there was plenty of talk about Harden, the former MVP with seven All-NBA team honours on his resume, moving from Houston to Brooklyn to join the Nets.
The Nets, of course, already have both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Durant, in particular, was reportedly high on bringing his former OKC running-mate to Brooklyn.
That deal could still be in the works but by mid-afternoon the talk of Harden heading to Philadelphia had re-taken the top of the rumour mill.
Philadelphia, now home to former Rockets GM Darryl Morey, has struggled finding consistency with young stars such as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Harden would take that roster to another level.
Whether this is just Harden’s wish list of a new landing spot remains to be seen.
Should Harden leave Houston for either team, the deal would most definitely rival the Paul trade in blockbuster status.
Where that would leave Westbrook, who joined Harden a year ago in Houston, would be another situation worth monitoring.
Even before the Harden rumours began, there was plenty of talk about Westbrook wanting out of Houston and paths to employment elsewhere. The only problem was finding a team that actually wanted to take on the Westbrook drama along with his rather large ticket.
Westbrook has three years and $131.5 million left on his contract.
New Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue officially unveiled his staff as the league trade frenzy began. Lue will be joined by associate head coach Dan Craig and assistants Kenny Atkinson, Chauncey Billups, Larry Drew and Roy Rogers. That’s a ton of experience on one NBA bench … Former Raptor DeMar DeRozan did the expected and picked up his player option which will pay him $27.7 million in the coming season. The San Antonio Spurs forward (he moved from guard to forward last season) will become an unrestricted free agent after this year and in that regard would be a favourable target for a trade this year with a contending team. Over the weekend there were reports that the Los Angeles Lakers, one of his hometown teams, might be interested in taking a run at his services … The Pistons and Nets were the first trade to get the Woj treatment as the ESPN newsbreaker extraordinaire Adrian Wojnarowski settled in for a long first day of trade announcements. The Pistons sent defensive guard Bruce Brown to the Nets for forward Dzanan Musa and a 2021 second-round pick that had previously belonged to the Raptors … The NBA is just getting started though. On Wednesday of this week they will conduct the 2020 NBA draft. That will be followed Friday by the opening of the free agent period which should begin another frenzy of activity within the league.