[James] Harden, who joined Oscar Robertson as the only other player to average at least 29 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds per game in the regular season but also had a career-high usage rate of 34.1, looked tired at the end. So he added yoga and pilates to his routine, focused on his rest and tweaked his diet. The goal, of course, is to make the most of this opportunity he has to create the league’s latest dynamic duo with [Chris] Paul.
While Paul was set to become a free agent July 1 if he had opted out, the nine-time All-Star informed the Clippers of his desire to play with Harden and his Rockets and was traded to Houston instead. Harden, who signed a four-year extension this summer and will earn a combined $228 million by the end of the 2022-23 season, had everything to do with the move.
“I just knew that in the summertime obviously (Paul) was a free agent, and I wanted to see where his head was,” Harden said of Paul, who will now be a free agent next summer. “He didn’t seem happy, so after that we just took it from there.
“Obviously Golden State has been in the Finals and won two out of three, so that’s what everybody is trying to build up against. But we’re right there. We’re right there. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do, but it definitely puts us in a better chance.”
Source: Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports
Sources: Lakers Have Inquired on Spurs’ Leonard
The Los Angeles Lakers have expressed interest in San Antonio Spurs All-Star Kawhi Leonard, league sources told Shams Charania of Yahoo. No specific proposals have yet been discussed.
The Los Angeles Lakers have reached out to the San Antonio Spurs to express interest in All-Star Kawhi Leonard, league sources tell Yahoo. No proposals have been discussed.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 21, 2018
Source: Shams Charania of Yahoo
Sources: Several Teams Interested in Trading into Lottery
Multiple teams remain active in trying to trade higher into the lottery, sources tell ESPN.
Among the teams still active in trying to trade higher into lottery: Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland and the Clippers, league sources tell ESPN. Philadelphia’s No. 10 pick is in play, a target for teams pursing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Otherwise, he could go No. 11 to Charlotte.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 21, 2018
Sources: 76ers Considered Trading Markelle Fultz To Move Up In Draft
The Philadelphia 76ers had internal discussions about packaging the No. 10 and 26 picks, along with former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, to move into the top five, league sources told The Athletic. The target was [Michael] Porter during these discussions. However, that thinking dampened with Porter’s back remaining a major question mark. If JJ Redick leaves in free agency, Fultz is the favorite to start at shooting guard.
Source: Michael Scotto of The Athletic