James Harden started off the post-season incredibly strong showing the world that the Philadelphia 76ers were powerful even without their MVP. However, the momentum wasn’t carried all the way through and the Sixers fell short against the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. All fingers were pointed at Harden who had an atrocious game that majorly influenced the Sixers’ downfall that game.
James Harden has the Phoenix Suns on his radar, per @BGeltzNBA pic.twitter.com/2xyrr1P9Nb
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 15, 2023
He finished with 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists while shooting 3-11 from the field. The 10x All-Star put up 20.3 points, 8.3 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game during the postseason. But it was the wrong situation to have a game night. Recent trade rumors have now put him in a possible third reunion with Kevin Durant. The Phoenix Suns also exited the post-season against the Denver Nuggets in six games.
With free agency pending for James Harden, I’m hearing there is another team prominently on is radar in addition to Houston. That team is the Phoenix Suns.
— Brian Geltzeiler (@BGeltzNBA) May 15, 2023
“With free agency pending for James Harden, I’m hearing there is another team prominently on his radar in addition to Houston. That team is the Phoenix Suns,” said Brian Geltzeiler of Sirius XM. The Suns recently released head coach Monty Williams and are in pursuit of new pieces. Chances are that they might create trade scenarios revolving around Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul.
James Harden and Kevin Durant played 43 games together in Brooklyn
Back in 2021, James Harden forced a trade out of the Houston Rockets roster to join Kevin Durant on the Brooklyn Nets. He joined midway through the season while Durant was still injured. In 2022, they had a fairly decent season before Harden felt the Sixers were more dedicated to winning the title. He left midway once again, leaving Durant with Kyrie Irving, who played a role in Harden’s departure.
The Beard and the Reaper would play 43 games together and needless to say, the Nets looked spectacular with them leading the way. Harden settled for the role of a facilitator while Durant scored. He averaged 23.4 points, 10.5 assists, and 8.2 rebounds with the Nets. Harden would make a great backup scorer beside Durant and Devin Booker.
If there were a few things the Suns lacked, it was consistent defense, backup scoring, and play-making. Phoenix heavily relied on Booker and Durant to carry the offense. Harden’s presence could ease the pressure on both scorers as he is not a selfish player either. The Beard has a player option available to exercise with the Sixers but he may not opt-in following the post-season.