New Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia did not waste any time taking control of the reigns after the team was eliminated by the Denver Nuggets. Suns head coach Monty Williams, who won the NBA Coach of the Year award twice during his tenure, was fired just days after the team’s loss in Game 6. After such an abrupt coaching change, one would think the Suns are also eyeing a roster shakeup to improve their team. According to Brian Geltzeiler of NBA TV, pending free agent James Harden has the Suns on his radar for a potential next destination.
“With free agency pending for James Harden, I’m hearing there is another team prominently on his radar in addition to Houston. That team is the Phoenix Suns, Geltzeiler” tweeted on May 15.
The 10-time All-Star has a player option for 2023-24 that he has to decide on by June 29. If he does not opt in for the final year, Harden will officially hit the free-agent market in July.
James Harden Sounds off After Game 7 Loss
The Sixers looked strong throughout most of their playoff run. They even had the Boston Celtics on the rope, up 3-2 and in the lead heading into the fourth quarter of Game 6. But the heroics of All-Star Jayson Tatum proved to be just too much as he forced a Game 7 where he would put the final nail in the Sixers’ coffin. Despite coming up short in the end, Harden sounds optimistic about the future in Philadelphia.
“We’re only one year in. We played against a team that’s been together for quite a few years now. They were in the finals last year, so they know what it takes to get back there, and this is only year one for us, full year so it was great,” Harden told reporters after the loss via NBA Today’s YouTube.
“We got an unfinished job. We haven’t won anything, and I think we got the chance to win. Obviously, going to seven games and having the chance to close it out at home which we didn’t do, I still believe that we got the chance to win. We got what it takes to win.”
James Harden Wants to Win Title With Sixers
In the final hours of the 2022 NBA trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets sent Harden to the Sixers, and in exchange, they received Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond. The Nets also received two first-round draft picks from the Sixers, acquiring their unprotected 2022 first-round pick, (which they elected to defer to 2023) as well as a top-8-protected 2027 first-round pick.
Harden has appeared on three teams since the 2021 season and so far has no championship to show for it. But the 10-time All-Star says that his goal is to change that during his tenure with the Sixers.
“Yeah, we’re trying to win a championship — that’s the goal,” Harden said per Sports Illustrated. “So, whatever it looks like to continue to build, us individually, continuing to get to know each other and find out what works and what doesn’t work, things like that. I’ll be here — I’ll be here. Whatever allows this team to grow and be better and do the things necessary to win and compete at the highest level.”