Houston Rockets star James Harden has been very vocal about wanting to play anew with former teammate Kevin Durant with the hope that his team would be able to sign him this summer. But rumors are swirling that the 26-year old scoring leader is trying to get rid of competition as he vocally stated that Durant does not fit well with the San Antonio Spurs.
Harden has been openly recruiting Durant to join him on the Rockets’ roster and the team can only do this once Dwight Howard opts out of his $23.2 million contract to give them the need space cap to lure Durant in. With Durant in the Rockets’ roster together with Harden and their support crew, they could be a team worthy of a title shot next season.
Harden, who appeared on Sirius XM NBA radio on Thursday as reported by Fox Sports, also implied that Durant is not a fit for the San Antonio Spurs since they have a lot of talented players on their roster and putting Durant in there would be chaotic as he and Kawhi Leonard would battle for playing time. This, despite strong indications that Durant will re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder for a maximum contract for two-years which is speculated to be worth $25 million. However, teams such as the Rockets, Spurs even the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics will still try to pitch their offer with the hope that Durant would reconsider.
“Yeah, I mean, San Antonio has a lot of good players,” Harden said. “Obviously, Durant is a 3 and they’ve got Kawhi Leonard over there, so I don’t know about that. But I mean, Kevin is a smart guy. He had a really good season. Obviously, it didn’t turn out the way he wanted to, but ultimately he’ll make the best decision for himself and his family. So we just gotta sit back and relax and wait.”
Even retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant gave Durant a piece of advice as he tries to consult his small inner circle as to what will his decision be. Bryant stated that Durant must look at his free agency holistically, take a close look at the opportunities that are presented before him and reflect on what he really want of his career for the future. Bryant further stated that Durant must not hesitate with his decision and he will never go wrong with it.
“When I was a free agent — I did my due diligence, I looked at every opportunity and I left no stone unturned, so you have to vet those things. I was just very fortunate things worked out for me in Los Angeles, but he certainly needs to look at every opportunity and make the right decision for himself — keeping in mind his fan base in Oklahoma, as well,” Bryant explained.
Most analysts stated that Durant together with Russell Westbrook will be back for the Thunder for two more years with a player option on the second year, so meaning they would be back in the 2017 free agency season. From there, Durant will ultimately decide his future since he will be getting a maximum deal going into this new season. But until then, it will be a guessing game for everyone as a never-ending speculation will continue to hype until Durant finally seals the deal with a team come July 1.
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