Knicks Engaged 76ers in Trade Talks for James Harden: Report

Julius Randle, New York Knicks

Getty Julius Randle of the New York Knicks drives to the basket against James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The New York Knicks initially engaged the Philadelphia 76ers in trade talks surrounding James Harden, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

But it didn’t prosper, as the Knicks made an underwhelming offer.

“[Daryl Morey] said he would make a good faith effort to trade Harden and had initial conversations, league sources said, with Harden’s preferred team, the Clippers, as well as the New York Knicks.

But by mid-August, it became clear none of the teams that expressed interest in Harden had any intention of giving Morey the kind of return he was looking for — namely, a player or assets to keep the team in championship contention. On Aug. 12, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Philadelphia decided to end talks with the Clippers and expected Harden to report to training camp,” Shelburne wrote.

The Knicks also inquired about Los Angeles Clippers’ star Paul George but balked at the high asking price.

Without a star trade this summer, they are poised to bring back their core with only Donte DiVincenzo as their key addition this offseason.

The Knicks are keeping their draft capital intact in the hopes of trading for bigger superstars down the road.

Reigning MVP Joel Embiid and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo have hinted at potential moves in the future following the uncertainty surrounding their present situations with their respective teams.

RJ Barrett’s Big 2nd Half Sparks Canada’s QF Win

RJ Barrett scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half to propel  Canada’s surge to the 2023 FIBA World Cup semifinals with a 100-89 win over Slovenia on Wednesday.

Barrett pumped in 13 in the pivotal third quarter and also finished with nine rebounds, one assist and a steal. He was a plus-18 in almost 35 minutes.

“I just came out aggressive [after halftime],” Barrett told Sportsnet Canada’s Arash Madani after the win. “I mean, Shae [Gilgeous-Alexander] kept on finding me. I missed way too many shots, you know. He gave me some great passes. So I was just aggressive and my guys are finding me.”

Barrett had six points in an 11-2 Canada run at the start of the third quarter to begin their breakaway. His 3-pointer — his first and only made 3 in the game — with 3:54 left gave Canada a commanding 72-58 lead. By the time he was subbed, Canada had taken complete control of the game, 77-61, after he made two more free throws.

Barrett and Canada will face Serbia in the semifinals on Friday.

Jalen Brunson Believes Rokas Jokubaitis is NBA-Ready

After Team USA lost to Lithuania on Sunday, a European reporter asked Jalen Brunson if he thinks Rokas Jokubaitis can play in the NBA.

“Yeah, he’s a great player,” Brunson said after the loss. “I got a lot of respect for him. It’s just always great when you can play against players, against the world. They got a lot of talent everywhere.”

Jokubaitis continued his stellar World Cup run with 13 points and a game-high nine assists, his personal best in the tournament in Lithuania’s quarterfinal loss to Serbia on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old Jokubaitis, averaging 12.8 points and 6.2 assists, will face Doncic and Slovenia on Thursday in the classification games for fifth to eighth places.

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