The NBA has started to move: Paul continues, Harden leaves

It opens in the offices of the NBA franchises to begin to shape the templates for the next season. Above all, in the teams that no longer have commitments in the season. See, everyone who isn’t Celtics, Heat, Nuggets or Lakers. Some decisions to make, easy or difficult, are close to being a reality.

Chris Haynes, who combines his work as a courtside interviewer at T.N.T. with his pieces written in Bleacher Reporthas published a round of news in recent dates.

As for a couple of ex-colleagues in Houston there are news. Precisely James Harden continues to aim there, a return that has been cooking over a slow fire and that is supported by the emotional and commercial bond that the player built in his nine years in the city of Texas. The current Sixers player is going to get out of his current contract thanks to the clause in it that allows him to do so, prioritizing a new long-term agreement according to the offers that come to him and giving up 35.6 million dollars to stay in Philly (which recently ousted coach Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers) in 2023/24. The base, at 33 years old, puts on the long-range lights to ensure his future in the NBA after this last series with the Celtics, in which the best and worst versions of him appeared in a handful of games. The signing of Ime Udoka for the bench was supported by a question: how would you see Harden train? Contact has been maintained between James and Houston and, according to Keith Pompey (The Philadelphia Inquirer), “the belief among NBA executives is that Harden will return there this summer” and “The interest is mutual and not a tactic to get a lucrative contract outside the Sixers”. Marching a comeback.

One of those who shared those Rockets with Harden was Chris Paul. The Suns point guard is also in the news, but to the contrary. The information pointed out that he was going to quickly find a way out for him, taking advantage of the fact that next season he only has 15.8 of the 30.8 million in his contract insured. Except for a radical turn, it will not be like that. They will wait for the summer to pass and the 2023/24 season to begin, accompanying Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and others, fully guaranteeing their salary and offering their starting position so that, at 38, they continue to lead Phoenix. Although it will have to be under the baton of a new manager, since Monty Williams was fired (at the request of the owner, Mat Ishbia, and despite the reluctance of the president, James Jones) when management expectations were not met only a few months after the change of owner.

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In another order of things, in terms of draft, you begin to look below the Spurs (1), who have almost assured the election of the Frenchman Victor Wembanyama. In the case of the Portland Trail Blazers, who went up in the lottery and came within a ball of reaching first place, the third place to choose in the June event does not seem to be worth it. As Haynes has indicated, Cronin left a clue: “There are very good players who can reach that ‘3’, for us or for someone else”. And it is that they want to take advantage of the last blows of the career of Damian Lillard, watchword of those from Oregon since 2012, surrounding him as much as possible with veteran players with whom to attack the playoffs. Lowering positions in exchange for agreements for assets that add automatically, not waiting to develop a Henderson, Walker, Amen Thompson or Brandon Miller, is a priority and even more so after listening to the opinion of the main person involved, who is for that work.

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