Days ago Shams Charania of The Athletic dropped the bomb: Brooklyn and Philadelphia will negotiate for James Harden and Ben Simmons before the market closes, he pointed out. Coming from such a reliable source, the information was taken almost as a warning of what was to come. The scenario of both organizations fits and perhaps it would even be positive, but it is clear that closing an agreement of such magnitude is anything but simple.
We have spent a couple of days like this, thinking about how it could happen and if it would come true, until Steve Nash, coach of the New Yorkers, has raised his voice to ensure that his star, Harden, will not change teams in the next few hours. The head coach not only has he ruled out a trade now, but he has even stated that La Barba wants to continue in Brooklyn for the long haul.
«I have spoken with James; he wants to be here. He also wants to be here for the long haul, so I don’t think he’s changed anything other than the noise outside. James wants to be here, we’re building with James and we think we have the best chance to win with James. I don’t think anything has changed internally, in our locker room, in our communication… It’s just noise », he told the media before the game against the Denver Nuggets.
Whatever Harden’s desire, what seems undeniable is that he’s in no rush to commit in either direction. In the summer he turned down a three-year, $161 million extension with Brooklyn, which could make him a free agent in a few months if he doesn’t exercise his $47.4 million player option. Even if he didn’t make it effective, he could still continue with the team on a five-year, $270 million maximum contract; Of course, he could also choose to change the scene. The Beard seems to want to see what he can get in Brooklyn before choosing.
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