New James Harden-Kevin Durant Speculation Discredited: ‘Zero Percent Chance’

Kevin Durant, James Harden

Getty Kevin Durant and James Harden

The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to have some competition for James Harden this offseason. However, according to John Gombadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 Radio FM, the Phoenix Suns will not be among the teams vying for him.

Gombadoro shot down the notion that Harden will reunite with former teammate Kevin Durant on the Suns this summer on his personal Twitter.

“Can we stop with these ridiculous James Harden reports. There is a zero percent chance this would happen. ZERO,” Gomabadoro tweeted.

This is likely in response to NBA Insider Ramona Shelburne floating Harden as a possible option for the Suns on a June 7 appearance on Mason & Ireland in light of rumors of the Suns potentially parting ways with Chris Paul.

“They don’t (waive Paul) unless they feel pretty good about somebody else, and I want you to keep your eye on James Harden,” Shelburne said. “I don’t want to report anything, but that was in the wind the past month or so. Everybody thinks it’s Philly or Houston, but there have been discussions in the wind.”

Though it appears the Sixers have one less team to worry about in the Harden sweepstakes, it’s far from guaranteed that he will return.

Exec Says James Harden is ‘No Longer a Max Player’

While talking with Heavy Sports’ Steve Bulpett, a source openly questioned why the Houston Rockets would go after Harden, adding that Harden is not the player he once was.

“There’s this talk about him going back to Houston, but from what I understand, it’s nothing more than a negotiating ploy. He knows that these guys aren’t going to max him. He’s no longer a max player, but he’s hoping that Philly wants him back and is willing to pay him.

“Houston’s making changes, so what connections will James have with the new people — and why would Houston, that has a bunch of youngsters that they’re trying to grow into NBA players, why would they bring in someone with James’ history of partying?”

An Eastern Conference executive spoke a similar sentiment while talking with Bulpett, though he added that Harden is still a quality player.

“He can get numbers; he can help a team,” the exec said. “But he’s not a max player anymore. You can’t justify it. The unfortunate part is that more and more of us are going to metrics, and there’s nobody’s metric measurement that looks at him and his efficiency and what he gives up defensively and says, ‘Oh, yeah, this is a guy we should max out.’”

James Harden ‘Torn’ on Who to Play for Next Season

Shams Charania revealed on the June 6 episode of “The Ryan Russillo Podcast” that Harden is currently torn on his free-agent decision this summer, as he does not know who to pick between the Sixers and Rockets.

“I don’t think he knows. As far as what I know about his mindset, I don’t think he totally is there,” Charania said. “We’re less than a month out from free agency starting. I really think he’s torn with the prospect of staying in Philadelphia or moving on to Houston potentially and returning back to his home.”

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