James Harden would consider signing with Suns in free agency, would have same answer for living on the moon

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James Harden will be a free agent in 2013 and there’s going to be a world of heat around the decision for the Thunder to retain him or let him free. He’s going to get max offers. If he doesn’t take a paycut to re-sign, the Thunder can’t afford to retain him if they want any future flexibility whatsoever, something they’ve always treasured. But as is usual with anyon eable to even sniff free agency, the talk has started about possible destinations.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic did his due diligence in asking the former Arizona State star if he’d consider a return to the desert he calls home when able to make the decision.

“Yeah,” he said. “Of course. I love it there. My mom lives there still. So that’s definitely my second home as far as my comfort level and going to school there. But obviously, I’m with the Thunder right now and what we have is special.”

“That’s out of my hands,” Harden said. “That’s not my decision. That’s the front office. I’ll let them decide that.”

via James Harden says he’s open to signing with the Phoenix Suns.

If you asked James Harden if he would consider living on the moon for a max contract, the answer is yes. If you asked if he’d consider signing with CSKA Moscow, the answer is yes. If you asked if he’d consider signing with the Bobcats, the answer is yes. The probabilities are in that order, but still.

For what it’s worth, a Dragic-Harden-Beasley-Scola-Gortat lineup would be downright spectacular. After failing to get Eric Gordon when the Hornets matched, that would be a monstrous get for the Suns.

Harden’t going to get these questions and this is going to be his life. He’s handling it the right way. “Love where I’m at, we’ll deal with it when the time comes.” The end. But he’s going to get offers. The question is whether the Thunder are willing to let him go.

One thing’s for sure.

They’ll consider it.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

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Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.

Orlando Magic will no longer host summer league

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic has decided to end their annual summer league.

Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Sunday the trend of NBA teams playing in the Las Vegas Summer League led to the decision end Orlando Pro Summer League. Orlando’s Summer League, which showcased rookies and young players, began in 2002.

Las Vegas will host all 30 teams for the summer league beginning in the summer of 2018. The Orlando Pro Summer League began as a 10-team tournament but there were just eight participating teams this past summer.

The summer league in Orlando, which is played in the Magic’s practice gym, was the only one of three summer leagues that did not allow fans to come in to watch.

Kevin Durant misses game vs. Nets with sprained ankle, status vs. Thunder in doubt

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Not that the Warriors needed him with Stephen Curry going off again, but Golden State was without Kevin Durant on Sunday in Brooklyn due to a sprained ankle.

Durant is officially day-to-day, but that brings up the question of whether he will be ready to go Wednesday night when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City to take on his former team. Chris Haynes of ESPN asked Durant about it.

While some blowhards will talk about him dodging the Thunder, the Warriors course here is obvious — they do not want to rush him back for any game in November. Even one against Russell Westbrook. Ankles with stretched ligaments are easy to re-injure if not fully healed, and the Warriors don’t want this to be chronic and last through more of the season.

Durant is averaging 24.9 points per game, 7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists, and — with all due respect to fellow former MVP Curry — he is the best player on the Warriors. Maybe the best player in the world right now, period. Durant can score at will, and he had become a key part of the Warriors’ fifth-ranked defense blocking 2.2 shots per game (their offense is No. 1 in the league).