3 best James Harden destinations in 2023 NBA free agency if he doesn’t return to Rockets

Philadelphia 76ers point guard James Harden had a very solid season this year, albeit it ending in disappointment in the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Once again, Harden faltered when the lights got bright and he will have to carry another blemish alongside his postseason resume. James Harden now arrives in NBA free agency, with a departure from the Sixers to reunite with the Houston Rockets highly rumored. Although there is no guarantee, James Harden leaving the Sixers for the Rockets looks like the most likely outcome as of right now. However, if he opts against the Rockets, there are a few other destinations that would make a lot of sense; staying with the Sixers, heading to the Chicago Bulls, or joining the San Antonio Spurs are three great potential destinations for James Harden.

The Sixers just hired Nick Nurse to be their new head coach, so if Harden were to remain in Philadelphia it would be under the former champion with the Toronto Raptors. It certainly is another added element that James Harden will have to consider once NBA free agency is underway, especially if he decides against going back to Houston. Both the Bulls and Spurs could be equally as enticing as staying with the Sixers, and James Harden could see obvious upside in either destination. Whatever happens, there will be many teams vying for the former MVP’s services in NBA free agency this summer; the Sixers, Spurs and Bulls are the three best options for James Harden if he decides against joining the Rockets.

*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for free trial)*

3. San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs are about to be the new home of Victor Wembanyama. For James Harden, this could make the Spurs the perfect team to continue his career with. Wembanyama looks like he will be a generational player, and he would complement Harden’s skillset perfectly. Wembanyama can seemingly do anything on the court and would allow Harden to be as creative as he would like to be. Not to mention, the pick-and-roll game is where Harden thrives the most, making Wembanyama the perfect developing player to pair alongside an elite scorer. Harden couldn’t win a championship this year with Joel Embiid, so riding the coattails of Wembanyama’s development might be his perfect chance at an NBA Finals ring.

Besides Wembanyama, Gregg Popovich would be the perfect coach for Harden. James Harden proved this year that he can adapt his style of play to best fit the team’s needs and that would be a great asset for Coach Popovich. The foreseeable future for the Spurs will be focused on developing a team around Wembanyama and Harden showed this year he can do whatever he can to fill what the team needs. If a reunion with the Rockets doesn’t happen, James Harden should really consider signing with the Spurs.

2. Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are missing one piece in making them an NBA Finals contender and it is a competent offensive point guard. That was supposed to be Lonzo Ball before knee injuries now have his career in jeopardy. Besides Ball, the Bulls have all of the pieces to be a contender if they were able to add a star like James Harden. Their perimeter defense is some of the best in the league, and they have scorers at every position as well as solid rebounding and rim protection. The one thing they missed this season was that one elite superstar; James Harden could come be the Bulls next star.

Chicago was led this year by DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, and both were very formidable options. However, both are number two to number three options on a contender, not the number one options they were this season. Adding Harden would take the pressure off of both of them, as well as giving them a facilitating guard who can easily go get his own bucket when need be. Again, a Rockets reunion looks like the most likely outcome, but James Harden would be prudent to connect with the Bulls brass in NBA free agency.

1. Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers were one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals this season with a 3-2 lead and a home tilt in Game 6. They ended up losing two straight to the Boston Celtics and cemented another disappointing season for Philadelphia faithful. However, with NBA MVP Joel Embiid and burgeoning star Tyrese Maxey on their way back as well as new head coach Nick Nurse, the Sixers figure to be contenders once again next season. In the end, the smartest decision for James Harden would be to stay with the Sixers, as they are the most sure-fire contenders out of all the teams he could potentially join. If James Harden decided to join the Rockets, he would essentially be giving up any hope on an NBA Finals ring in the near future.

This year’s Sixers team was definitely talented enough to win the NBA Finals but just fumbled in the spotlight. Both Embiid and Harden struggled in the Sixers’ opportunities to close out the Celtics and they paid for it in the national media afterwards. Another offseason together and added motivation of squandering an MVP season from Embiid should make the Sixers even better next year if Harden returns. At this point in James Harden’s career, the Sixers are the best destination if he wants to win an NBA championship.

The post 3 best James Harden destinations in 2023 NBA free agency if he doesn’t return to Rockets appeared first on ClutchPoints.

3 best Fred VanVleet destinations in 2023 NBA free agency

This year’s NBA free agency period projects to have a bevy of top-notch talents becoming available, and fans and analysts are seemingly expecting several players to change zip codes for the 2023-24 season. Perhaps one of the most buzzed-about names slated to hit the open market this summer is Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet who, after putting forth an impressive seventh season in the association, is looking to receive a lucrative new deal.

Considering he plays the game’s most important position at point guard, coupled with his pedigree as an established All-Star, assuming he turns down his final season under his current $85 million contract the expectation is that many backcourt-needy clubs will look to pursue his services.

However, though Fred VanVleet is worthy of being coined as a hot commodity and will likely be courted by a plethora of franchises in free agency, there are three teams, in particular, that should be viewed as ideal options for him to land with.

Best Fred VanVleet destination No. 3) Houston Rockets

If both money and a clear-cut “top dog” status is what Fred VanVleet covets, then he should look no further than the Houston Rockets.

After a tumultuous couple of seasons following the end of the James Harden era, the franchise is now looking to establish some stability in an effort to build toward a brighter future. This offseason, Houston hired former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka to help mentor and develop the club’s impressive young and promising core consisting of Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun, and Kevin Porter Jr.

However, even with these high-upside talents, the Rockets still lack a true star player and leader on the court.

Fred VanVleet could prove to be that guy to fill these voids.

Considering Houston is projected to have the most cap space at their disposal this offseason, should the point guard already be intrigued by the foundation set in place down in Space City, the organization could easily coerce him into signing by floating a lofty contract offer in his direction.

Best Fred VanVleet destination No. 2) Toronto Raptors

Familiarity and comfortability often play a major role in a player’s on-court productivity and impact. For Fred VanVleet, these attributes have already been established throughout his seven-year tenure with the Toronto Raptors and, based on comments dropped during the year, they are factors that will likely be weighed heavily prior to making an ultimate decision this summer.

VanVleet signed on with Toronto as an undrafted free agent after opting to turn down NBA development league contracts and, instead, participate in the 2016 NBA Summer League.

Though he received minimal playing time in year one, during his sophomore season he managed to work his way into a consistent role within the club’s rotation. By year three, he was a mainstay contributor who played a major role in the team’s first NBA Championship run.

Since the 2019-20 season, Fred VanVleet has served as Toronto’s starting point guard and has achieved a tremendous amount of success in such a role. During this time, he’s gone on to post impressive per-game averages of 19.3 points, 6.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals on 36.7% shooting from the floor all while claiming his first All-Star nod during the 2021-22 campaign.

Despite the fact that the club endured a rather underwhelming 2022-23 where they finished with a record of 41-41 and were bounced from the Play-In Tournament, reports suggest President Masai Ujiri is “reluctant” to embark on a rebuilding phase, which, in turn, likely means VanVleet has a high chance of remaining in Canada moving forward.

From both a financial and sentimental perspective, this could be viewed as a good thing for the 28-year-old guard.

Best Fred VanVleet destination No. 1) Dallas Mavericks

If Fred VanVleet wishes to better his odds of chasing a second championship, then perhaps his best course of action may actually be to leave Toronto and look for a club in more of a win-now mode.

Should the Dallas Mavericks somehow wind up not re-signing their high-profile trade deadline acquisition Kyrie Irving, who is also a free agent this summer, then perhaps the point guard could be an ideal fit in the Lone Star State.

Throughout his career, VanVleet has already proven to be more than capable of playing and, frankly, excelling while running alongside a ball-dominant star by his side.

From guys like Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard to most recently Pascal Siakam, the veteran is a willing off-ball participant who can create plays for himself and others when in possession of the rock while also possessing the ability to splash home catch-and-shoot jumpers when roaming.

Both of these attributes are what Luka Doncic desperately needs in a running mate.

Though perhaps less efficient from a scoring standpoint, Fred VanVleet could fill the Jalen Brunson role from the club’s 2021 Eastern Conference Finals run, and, with championship and deep postseason experience already under his belt, perhaps his mental expertise could be a major bonus for the Mavs.

The post 3 best Fred VanVleet destinations in 2023 NBA free agency appeared first on ClutchPoints.

Ime Udoka gutting Celtics coaching staff after Heat elimination

Just when Boston Celtics fans thought it couldn’t get any worse, their former coach Ime Udoka comes in and adds insult to injury.

An already-thin Celtics coaching staff under Joe Mazzulla will reportedly be gutted further by Udoka, as he’s expected to bring in three assistants from Boston to join him on the Houston Rockets sideline, according to The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn:

According to an NBA source, assistants Ben Sullivan, Aaron Miles, and Mike Moser are expected to join Ime Udoka’s staff in Houston, leaving three or more openings on Mazzulla’s staff.

Coaching was a huge talking point during the Eastern Conference Finals as the Celtics’ neophyte play-caller in Joe Mazzulla was forced to go up against a proven winner and arguably the best coach in the league right now in Heat head honcho Erik Spoelstra.

Boston was clearly the superior side talent-wise when it came to their roster, but the inverse was true when it came to coaching. Among many strategic plays throughout the Celtics-Heat series, the most evident was Spoelstra’s implementation of zone defense, which Mazzulla’s side never truly was able to solve.

Ima Udoka’s departure and eventual move to the Rockets was just one of many that left the Celtics’ coaching staff extremely thin. Top assistant Will Hardy was poached by former Celtics exec Danny Ainge to lead the Utah Jazz. Former NBA veteran Damon Stoudamire also left to become the head coach of Georgia Tech.

It remains to be seen if the Celtics will commit to Joe Mazzulla going forward after a bittersweet comeback bid that fell short in the East Finals. But whether or not he comes back, there will be plenty of clipboards that will need new owners in Beantown.

The post Ime Udoka gutting Celtics coaching staff after Heat elimination appeared first on ClutchPoints.

Rockets ‘enamored’ with Amen Thompson as potential No. 4 pick in 2023 NBA Draft

There have been plenty of rumors coming out about the Houston Rockets this offseason, but they all share a common theme: the Rockets want to get better, and quickly.

That being said, the Rockets have the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and they could look to move it in an attempt to acquire an already established talent. If they don’t, they may have already chosen the player that they believe they can be a franchise building block in Overtime Elite point guard Amen Thompson.

The Rockets have many people within the organization that are “enamored” with Thompson, according to The Athletic insider Kelly Iko:

“There’s a reason why so many within the Rockets organization are so enamored with him. Everything about him oozes potential. The defensive intensity and attention to detail. The explosiveness and athleticism. The ballhandling and playmaking. It’s hard to not see those qualities in a young player and not envision what he could look like next to Jalen Green, a gifted young scorer and elite athlete.”

Thompson is a highly touted prospect with a tantalizing blend of athleticism, skill, feel and size at 6-foot-7.

The adjustment to the speed, skill and strength of NBA players will be a learning curve. However, there are far more reasons to believe in his upside than to doubt his potential impact.

Furthermore, to Iko’s point, Thompson and Green could be an electrifying backcourt.

Green scored 22.1 points per game last season and is one of the best athletes in the NBA. With his perimeter gravity and penchant for making 3-point shots, he and Amen could form a formidable duo.

The question is if the Rockets will get their guy?

The post Rockets ‘enamored’ with Amen Thompson as potential No. 4 pick in 2023 NBA Draft appeared first on ClutchPoints.

RUMOR: 4 teams in top 5 of 2023 NBA Draft already ‘generating trade chatter’

Front office executives are always particularly active around the NBA Draft and this year is no different, as NBA insider Marc Stein reports that “pretty much every team above the [Indiana] Pacers that didn’t win the right to draft Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick like San Antonio is already being mentioned as a candidate to shop its upper-echelon pick for win-now considerations.”

While the Pacers are rumored to be trying to move up in the draft, per Stein, “No. 2 Charlotte, No. 3 Portland, No. 4 Houston, No. 5 Detroit — all of those teams are generating such chatter before we make it out of May.”

The idea that several teams in the top-five of the 2023 NBA Draft are shopping their picks is unsurprising, particularly in the case of the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers, led by 32-year-old Damian Lillard, feel internal and external pressure to put themselves in championship contention while Lillard is still playing at an elite level.

A team like the Houston Rockets may be in a rebuild but as a proud franchise that had their most recent playoff appearance in 2020, they’re looking to accelerate that process this offseason. Relative to the Rockets, the Detroit Pistons haven’t had as much recent success, but they’re also an organization with a rich history.

Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets are still looking for their first taste of consistent playoff success since the early 2000s; back when the team was led by former stars Jamal Mashburn and Baron Davis.

There’s no guarantee that any of the aforementioned teams will actually attempt to make a move. Nonetheless, with multiple stars expected to be available in trade talks this offseason, they would all be wise to put their chips on the table.

The post RUMOR: 4 teams in top 5 of 2023 NBA Draft already ‘generating trade chatter’ appeared first on ClutchPoints.

3 best Rockets trades using No. 20 pick in 2023 NBA Draft

After rebuilding and moving on from the nucleus of James Harden and Chris Paul, the Houston Rockets have been one of the worst teams in the NBA. They have been at the bottom of the pack, selecting top prospects like Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr. and Alperen Sengun toward early in the draft. Compared to young squads like the Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Magic, the Rockets are multiple steps behind in arduous rebuilding process that began two-and-a-half seasons ago.

Unfortunately, the Rockets slid out of the top-three in the upcoming 2023 draft, which is a massive disappointment for the organization. Selecting at No. 4 will be more of a challenge, but Houston must choose the best overall talent on the board. The Rockets have more options with the No. 20 overall selection, including a potential trade that would bring back another young player who could help Ime Udoka’s team win in 2023-24.

Here are three players Houston should target with the No. 20 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Kyle Anderson

The Minnesota Timberwolves signed Kyle Anderson last summer, but he was underutilized at times this season, especially when both Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns were healthy. Anderson excelled alongside Gobert—despite their personal dustup on the sidelines—as a playmaking power forward, though, bringing some much-needed dynamism to Minnesota’s offense and defense.

A Rockets team with scoring machines like Green, Smith Jr., and Kevin Porter Jr. need an individual who is willing to set them up. Anderson is the perfect point forward, his all-around versatility making life much easier on teammates. He is the perfect Swiss Army knife and would be a perfect mentor for Houston’s young core.

Grant Williams

Similar to Anderson, Grant Williams would be a major addition to the Rockets because of his relentlessness and defensive prowess, attributes that would help help them finally establish an identity. Williams has played in Boston for the duration of his career, but he is up for an extension in the offseason, so it is not guaranteed the Celtics will give him the bag he desires.

The Rockets have the cap space to pay him, so Houston must invest in players like Williams who thrive in a particular role. Being a defensive menace and solid three-point shooter has been effective for Williams, but there have been games it is evident there is more room for his game to grow. With a move to a lesser stacked team, Williams would get the payday he desires and the opportunity for a bigger, more consistent role.

Marcus Morris Sr.

A player who really struggled in 2022-23 is Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. Injuries were definitely a factor in his subpar season, so his trade value might not be as high as it was before. The Rockets are a squad composed of a ton of guys who lack NBA experience, so Morris Sr. would provide a valuable veteran presence.

The Clippers have a surplus of players at his position, so they may decide to unload some of them and add draft assets to the roster. Morris Sr. is likely nearing the twilight of his career, but his toughness and shooting ability would benefit a Houston team still in the process of finding itself both on and off the floor.

The post 3 best Rockets trades using No. 20 pick in 2023 NBA Draft appeared first on ClutchPoints.

RUMOR: Raptors eyeing Rockets’ No. 4 pick amid James Harden, Pascal Siakam reports

The Toronto Raptors have interest in trading for the Houston Rockets‘ No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft, according to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko.

This may indicate a rebuild for Toronto, which finished at .500 this season (41-41). The Raptors fired coach Nick Nurse in the offseason.

The potential move could also mean a team-up with James Harden and Pascal Siakam.

Harden is rumored to be interested in a return to the Rockets. He has a $35,640,000 player option he intends to decline to pursue a longer deal as an unrestricted free agent.

If the Raptors are after the Rockets’ No. 4 pick, they would have to give up assets the Rockets can use to either build their team in the short- or long-term. Siakam is 29 years old and had arguably his best season in 2022-23, averaging a career-best 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists, which was also a career-high.

This would move Houston toward a playoff contender. It hired former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who led the team to the 2022 NBA Finals, this offseason.

The Rockets also have rising young players Jalen Green, who averaged 22.1 points per game last season, Kevin Porter Jr., Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr.

They could keep some of those assets or move them in a deal for a competitive roster, assuming they sign Harden and potentially trade for Siakam.

Harden was named the MVP with the Rockets in 2018. Siakam is an NBA champion (he won with the Raptors in 2019) and is playing at his peak, which is something that would benefit a future pairing.


The post RUMOR: Raptors eyeing Rockets’ No. 4 pick amid James Harden, Pascal Siakam reports appeared first on ClutchPoints.

Former Rocket Eric Gordon gets brutally honest on 2018 Warriors series ending James Harden era

Former Houston Rocket and current Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon looks back on their battle with the Golden State Warriors in 2018 that went to seven games.

At that time, the Rockets were led by a fiery James Harden, and recently acquired Chris Paul the year prior. They were coached by offensive mastermind Mike D’Antoni, who is heavily credited for pioneering the modern NBA offense that involved a lot of 3-point shooting and moving the ball with pace. Eric Gordon’s role during this era was being a sixth man that provided scoring off the bench. Gordon averaged 15.7 points on 36% three point shooting in 30.2 minutes a game when he was with the Rockets.

Their peak was in 2018, where they stormed through the regular season with a 65-17 record, and faced the star-studded Golden State Warriors during the Western Conference Finals. The Rockets would bow down in Game 7, and have never replicated the same type of success since.

Gordon believes that if they won that game, that special team would have been able to stay together for much longer.

“I think things would have been changed. I think the team would have been together. Definitely more years,” Gordon said on his appearance on The IkoSystem podcast hosted by Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “I mean, winning a championship—that’s a big time thing. There’s no doubt the guys would have been together.”

The Rockets seemed like the perfect team to take down the Golden State Warriors, who were led by four stars of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Up 3-2, it seemed like the series was theirs for the taking, until Game 6 Klay happened and Chris Paul injured his hamstring. It forced a Game 7, where Houston beat themselves by missing 27 straight threes leading to a second-half Warriors comeback.


When asked if the loss still sticks around him, Eric Gordon simply replied by saying: “It does.” “You only get so many chances to win a championship. And to have the chance to beat a [Durant-Curry Warriors] team like that, I mean, you just never know. And sometimes when you win, you just don’t know how much that attracts other players around the league because we had a good thing going. “Like I said, year in and year out, you just never know.”

The Houston Rockets tried to run it back the following year, only to be eliminated yet again by the Warriors in six games. Then they traded Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook, which led them to be eliminated once more, this time at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers. After Mike D’Antoni declared that he would not return to the team following that exit, the Rockets would blow the team up, trading Westbrook and Harden 2021, followed by Gordon’s trade to the Clippers earlier this year.

Despite all of this, Eric Gordon still appreciates how the Rockets stood up to the juggernauts of their time, perhaps the greatest collection of talents in NBA history, and never backed down. Gordon even supports a potential James Harden reunion to the Rockets, for old times’ sake.

The post Former Rocket Eric Gordon gets brutally honest on 2018 Warriors series ending James Harden era appeared first on ClutchPoints.

Grading absurd hypothetical Warriors-Rockets Jordan Poole trade

The Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA Championship in the iteration of their Big 3 and head coach Steve Kerr. The 2022 crown was far different from the previous ones as the journey was more tumultuous, and there were more young guns that were included on their roster. Jordan Poole is a fantastic piece, who was phenomenal in the first three rounds of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

Poole’s rookie contract was up for an extension, and the Warriors locked him up for four years, $140 million. As the contract kicks in starting next season, it could be a bone-headed mistake for the Warriors because Poole was horrific in 2023, and his trade value is not as high as they hoped. The guaranteed contract limits the moves Golden State can execute in the offseason, but there is one hypothetical trade between the Warriors and Houston Rockets that was proposed on The Athletic.

Rockets receive: Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga

Warriors receive: Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate, K.J. Martin, the No. 4 pick in 2023, Houston’s first-round picks in 2025 and 2027

From Rockets perspective:

The starting backcourt of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green do not mesh well together. Both individuals have a pure scoring and shoot-first mentality rather than being a floor general and involving their teammates. Porter Jr. has had his fair share of off-court issues as well, so why should not the organization pounce on the massive opportunity of adding a talented individual like Jordan Poole.

His trade value is at its lowest at the moment, so Houston can pounce on the rare chance, especially because they have the cap space to absorb the salary of Jordan Poole. Compared to the Warriors who have a ton of committed money on their payroll, Houston can take a calculated risk on Poole’s four-year deal. Moreover, the Rockets will be able to add an absolutely talented forward in Jonathan Kuminga as well.

The Warriors do not have space to pay him, so it is inevitable for him to be shipped out. Poole and Kuminga have been heavily criticized with their basketball IQ, but the hiring of former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka will be an immense boost to their upside with the Rockets.

From Warriors perspective:

There is no question that the Draymond Green and Jordan Poole training camp incident negatively affected the vibes on the Golden State locker room. Furthermore, his subpar production in their 2023 campaign was a sign from other individuals that it is time to move on from Poole and add supplementary pieces that complement the nucleus of Golden State.

In the aforementioned trade proposal, the inclusion of Kevin Porter Jr. is iffy because his approach does not seem to fit the system of the Warriors. However, Jae’Sean Tate and K.J. Martin are two incredible athletes who can flourish in any system even if they do not have superb talent. The Warriors lacked the bodies who were willing to do the dirty work and athletic forwards and bigs who can rebound and defend, so Tate and Martin will fill-in that gap.

For this trade to be successful, Golden State must be very convinced that the fourth pick in the 2023 NBA Draft will contribute instantly to their championship aspirations. Any of the Thompson twins or Jarace Walker must contribute at a bigger level than Jordan Poole or Jonathan Kuminga for this trade to make sense for Golden State. The two future draft assets in 2025 and 2027 will not benefit the current iteration of the Warriors, so there is no reason for that to be a reason on why the trade will push through.

Rockets grade : B+

Warriors grade : D


The post Grading absurd hypothetical Warriors-Rockets Jordan Poole trade appeared first on ClutchPoints.

Is James Harden using Rockets rumor as potential Sixers contract leverage?

James Harden has been linked to a potential return to the Houston Rockets for months. There’s certainly a lot of smoke regarding this potential free agency move from the Beard. Even ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, one of the most reputable news sources in the NBA, dumped fuel into the fire of this potential reunion. With Harden’s Philadelphia 76ers having flamed out of the playoffs once more, there’s certainly a strong possibility that Harden bolts for someplace where the grass is greener.

Nevertheless, one possibility that has been floated around by some pundits, such as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, is that Harden and his camp are only using the Rockets as leverage to get a max contract from the Sixers. This especially might be the case given the Sixers’ reported reluctance to give Harden a max contract, which begins at $46.9 million next season based off the current salary cap projection.

“The Sixers haven’t shown an appetite to pay Harden the max. That’s why they asked him to take a pay cut last year. […] They’re not really motivated to pay him a max salary if they don’t think anybody else is going to do it,” Windhorst said in an appearance on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption.

Windhorst then wondered whether the Rockets-James Harden rumor is merely being used as a smokescreen, especially when going back to the Sixers remains the most rational outcome given where Harden is in his career.

“The Rockets have the cap space. Do they do it? There’s been a very hard rumor out there in the NBA about Harden’s intent to go back to Houston. It makes you wonder if it’s being sold too hard. It’s certainly something that people are considering,” Windhorst added.

Only time will tell what happens with the Sixers’ James Harden free agency saga. One thing’s for sure: the Sixers will have difficulties replacing one of the best guards in the NBA given their current cap situation should he decide to spurn them in free agency.

The post Is James Harden using Rockets rumor as potential Sixers contract leverage? appeared first on ClutchPoints.