One of James Harden‘s former teammates does not believe the Philadelphia 76ers star would fit well with the Los Angeles Clippers. Kendrick Perkins, who played with Harden on the Oklahoma City Thunder for a season and a half from 2011 to 2012, questioned what Harden’s role on the Clippers would be on the July 31 episode of ESPN’s NBA Today.
“We’re talking about a Clippers team who we’ve been having high expectations for over what, the last 4-5 seasons? They can’t stay healthy…You bring in James Harden, and then what? What is he actually going to do?
“If he’s unhappy in Philly right now and he has the ball in his hands, what type of position are you going to put him in when he get(s) with the Clippers? Is he still going to have the ball in his hands? Is he going to have a bigger role? No! Absolutely not! The two guys you are going to run your offense through (are) Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.”
Perkins finished by saying what Harden’s best course of action is.
“If James Harden is all about winning, then he stay(s) right where he’s at with Joel Embiid,” Perkins finished.
Derek Fisher Explains Why James Harden Could Work in LA
Derek Fisher, who was also Harden’s teammate with the Thunder in 2012, explained why Tyronn Lue would like to have someone like Harden on the team.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m really sensitive (to) Ty Lue’s situation there,” Fisher said (h/t All Clippers). “Like as a coach, I’m sure he wants to put a team of guys together that he feels like are gonna be available and that he can go out and coach and help him win, whether it would be a better fit or not – James has been more available than Kawhi and Paul, regardless of how you feel about James’ game.”
Fisher added that he could see it working out but understands why making a move for Harden isn’t easy.
“So to some degree, it may work better, even if when healthy Paul and Kawhi are clearly two of the best players and top 10 players in the league. It’s a really tough call, but those are the calls that you get paid to make at that level. And, you know, Lawrence Frank does a great job there. I mean, they have a great group with the Clippers as well, so they’ll figure it out.”
Clippers ‘Fairly Unserious’ in James Harden Pursuit: Report
On July 28, Philly Voice’s Kyle Neubeck reported that though the Clippers are interested in Harden, they’re not showing much desperation to acquire him.
“Even the Clippers, Harden’s preferred destination, have been fairly unserious about what they’re willing to give up in order to acquire him,” Neubeck wrote. “The prevailing sentiment seems to be that Harden is still valued, but on the team’s terms, which is a shift from the franchise-defining clout Harden had at his peak.”
Neubeck added that Harden has a market, but there are differing perceptions on what his market is.
“There will still be a market for him regardless, but at the moment, it seems like there’s a disconnect between what the player wants it to be and what teams think it is.”