NBA

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst suspects that rumors placing James Harden back in Houston are ‘one-giant leverage play’

Antonio Kozlow profile picture
Disclosure
We sometimes use affiliate links in our content, when clicking on those we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you. By using this website you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy.
r790623_1296x729_16-9

Rumors about a possible James Harden reunion with his beloved Rockets keep making the NBA headlines, as reports on the potential move are exciting fans from all over. The current Sixers star played his best basketball in Houston during the decade of the 2010s.

However, after years as a sport insider, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst isn’t naive about it, and decided to share his take on the matter during the latest episode of “The Hoop Collective” podcast. The journalist was one of the first to report on the possibility, even declaring a couple of days ago that The Beard might go for a four-year deal.

“The two big names out on the [free agent] market this year are James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Both of them, at $48 to $50-something million, seem like very bad bets. But, there is a scarcity [of star talent] there,” Windhorst assured.

Just like the Mavericks star, the ESPN reporter believes that they are simply looking to negotiate a better deal with their current squads. Harden’s return to Texas or Ivring to Los Angeles, are such huge media stories for the fans that they can both profit off it during their negotiations.

“I also think that both of them, Kyrie showing up to Laker games, James Harden being rumored to be attached to the Rockets, I still think/suspect all of that is one giant leverage play,” the journalist explained. “That, what James Harden really wants is to elicit the biggest offer out of the Sixers even if it isn’t a max [contract].

“Whatever the number of money is, for as long as many years as he can get. And that this slow dance for months and these rumors are all sort of tied to that.”

The ESPN analyst believes that Irving will end up doing the same as Harden, as both will stay in their respective teams

As both stars head into free agency, they know how to play the game of negotiating, not just shooting hoops on court. Windhorst suggests that the media circus around the rumors will keep adding more and more fuel throughout the summer.

“And I think that Kyrie could be doing the same exact thing [with the Mavericks],” the ESPN reporter said. “Just doing all of this, and whatever he may do between now and free agency to try to get the juiciest offer he can from the team he’s on. Cause [the Sixers and Mavericks] face the most damage from losing those guys.”

Even if it doesn’t end up happening, just to keep us excited check out The Beard’s Top 10 plays wearing the Rockets jersey:

Windhorst explained that for now this is all trade speculation, even though Harden’s agents are holding conversations with the Texan franchise. In the past, the NBA insider has proven to be right as he was the first to hint at the veteran star’s trade to the Nets.

Antonio is a life long sports enthusiast and professional journalist, who shares an obssesive urge to find and dig up the most interesting facts to guide gamblers towards more exciting, yet safe bets. In his own words, ''you can never really know enough about the things you love''.

Trending Now