Phoenix Suns – James Harden, the heavily bearded Oklahoma City Thunder reserve wonder, a key component to their emergence as a viable NBA championship contender, admitted that he could see himself playing in Phoenix if he enters the free-agent market after the upcoming season. OKC has some salary cap issues fast approaching. Harden, who is on the United State’s Olympic team in London, is eligible to receive a long-term contract this summer. And so is Serge Ibaka, the starting forward who also is in London, playing for Spain.
So, Oklahoma City will either have a huge payroll – Olympians Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each have astronomical new contracts that will keep them in OKC over the life of the deals.
But why Phoenix as a possible landing spot for Harden? “I love it there,” he said. “My mom lives there still. So that’s definitely my second home as far as my comfort level and going to school there. But obviously, I’m with the Thunder right now and what we have is special.”
“That’s out of my hands,” he said. “That’s not my decision. That’s the front office. I’ll let them decide that.”
Harden has been open about his affinity for Oklahoma City and reiterated it during his exit interview following the NBA Finals, even going so far to indicate he’d give the Thunder a discount on an extension.
“This team is like a family,” Harden said. “Like, we’re really brothers. We hang out most of the time every single day. You won’t find any other team like this. I love it here.
“This is something special here. A dynasty is being built here. So we’re winning, we’re having fun and we’re brothers. The other stuff, you can’t buy it.”
There have been rumors about trades involving Harden, but OKC sources insist the team was approached about acquiring Harden, not the team looking to move him.
Durant let it be known on a Twitter his position on Harden becoming a free agent. “He not hittin the market,” he tweeted.
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