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Harden: CP3 ‘didn’t seem happy’ at Start of Free Agency

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[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

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Sources: HEAT Aggressive in Pursuit of Jimmy Butler

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So far, Pat Riley and Miami have been as aggressive as any team in pursuit of a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota, league sources tell ESPN. Ownership still prefers to find a deal by early this week, sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Knicks, Joakim Noah Nearing Buyout Agreement

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Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Joakim Noah and the New York Knicks are near agreement on his waive and stretch. Noah will not report to training camp this week as sides part ways before media day.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Sources: Cavaliers Interested in Jimmy Butler

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ESPN Sources: Another team pursuing a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota: Cleveland. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was seen talking privately with Glen Taylor at NBA Board of Governors meeting on Friday. Both owners played a part in negotiating the Love-Wiggins deal.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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