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If you were trying to get traded, would you wear a cool suit during your warm-up?
Standstill in Philly
The easy way or the hard way?
There’s been so much focus on Damian Lillard and where he could go and what his new single released late last night could say (nothing, by the way) that it seems we’ve kind of forgotten about James Harden and his trade status. . News broke just before free agency that Harden and the 76ers would work to find a trade for him from Philly. Looks like he wants to go to the Clippers. And … crickets … after that.
Sam Amick’s latest from Las Vegas gave an update on what’s happening with Harden and the trade market:
But despite all the relevant history and despite the fact that (Daryl) Morey may know Harden and all his complexities better than anyone in the NBA, rival executives I spoke with during summer league were adamant that the Sixers are now trying to keep Have the. Discontent be damned.
The sluggish trade talks between the Sixers and Clippers for Harden seem to support this position. Morey is known for asking for the kind of return that — as of Tuesday afternoon — left the strong impression that he had no real interest in getting a deal done anytime soon.
Harden’s position has not changed, a source close to him said Athletics. He still wants to leave Philadelphia.
This could get wonderfully awkward, and we love awkward chaos. Morey, the Sixers’ president of basketball ops, can be stubborn, and we saw how that went with Ben Simmons. Morey is known to throw out trade proposals that are symbolic middle fingers to the other team.
Could Morey withstand Harden’s ways to potentially make things uncomfortable? Remember, there are people on the Internet who think he even wore a fat suit during warmups with the Rockets to be traded. Is Morey able to keep ownership calm if something wild like this happens?
The idea of keeping Harden probably won’t work. We’ve seen Tom Thibodeau think it could work with Jimmy Butler and it exploded. But Harden is on an expiring deal, and he can threaten any team that tries to trade for him that he won’t re-sign.
I actually hope Harden’s situation stagnates enough that we’ll be watching Sixers training camp wondering if he’ll show up and eager to see what happens if he does. And I hope he’s wearing a cool suit.
Let’s check in with Shams.
The latest from Shams
News and notes from the week
Summer League is rolling in Las Vegas and the NBA world is still waiting for movement in these Harden and Lillard situations. In the meantime, some highlights during the calm before the storm:
- The NBA has granted the Chicago Bulls a disabled player exception for Lonzo Ball, who is expected to miss all of next season rehabbing his right knee, sources said Athletics. Chicago can now use the $10.2 million in free agency and trade options. Ball played his final game of the 2021-22 season and has since undergone three knee surgeries.
- On Tuesday, Kyrie Irving announced a deal with Chinese sportswear company ANTA. He signed a five-year endorsement deal, industry sources say, and will serve as chief creative officer at the company. Irving’s management company, A11Even, negotiated the deal. The new deal will also give Irving the ability to recruit/sign players and other collaborators and bring a production level to the US to kick-start ANTA’s process of full US distribution
Back to you, Zach.
Can’t get enough of motivating the youngsters
I hate the idea of parity. I love the idea that the elite of the elite are better than everyone else at basketball and let people know it. Sometimes it comes across as arrogant and arrogant. And other times it is focused as a means of inspiration.
Two of my favorite examples of this come from Bradley Beal and Draymond Green trying to motivate young players hoping to make the league one day. These are two very different players and paths with two very important messages.
Years ago, this video of Beal trying to motivate his AAU players to take things more seriously was released and it is absolutely incredible. He reminded them that there are only 400 players in the NBA at any given time (it’s closer to 500, but the point remains) in a world of billions. He taught them about how to carry themselves. And he dropped this gem:
“And I never like to pull my NBA card. But there’s only 400. That means if you have dreams of being in the league, you gotta play me. You gotta f—— protect me. And guess what ? Can’t any of you mothers… protect me. Not one of you is taking my job.”
Green had one in the last year circulating on social media where he talks to young players on a Rico Hines basketball run and he calls them out for not running hard enough during sprints. And he said it simply:
“You gotta have this, man. We can talk IQ. We can talk about all this stuff, but at the end of the day, the mother who wants it more is going to get it. Because I promise, I want it more.”
Another motivational speech from an NBA player dropped this week. It was Andre Drummond talking to young players he mentors. He noted that players were not good teammates and did not celebrate when their team did something while sitting on the bench. And he decided to draw from his personal experience of sacrificing minutes, role and numbers for the greater good.
“I was that guy. I was a $100 million guy. I was blustering. I was sad when I didn’t play. And I had a bad attitude. I went from $100 million to of—— league minimum.”
He went on to say that the numbers are nice, but teams also care that you’re a good teammate, locker room person and someone you can count on every night.
These are good lessons and good motivational tools. I can’t get enough of these videos.
Tweaks for The Bounce…for now
I know, I know. We just got here! But we want to make sure you get quality insight sent to your inbox every single time, and let’s face it, there just isn’t a ton of news out there before Harden or Lillard get traded (and maybe I just jinxed us all ).
From next week we will cut back to Tuesday and Friday editions of The Bounce until we switch to full season preview mode for 2023-24. We plan to have some fun with Hot Take Tuesday, a basketball movie review every Friday, some nostalgia, WNBA analysis, maybe some special guests and a whole lot more. And don’t forget that the FIBA World Cup is coming up soon too (check out Team Canada’s roster, by the way).
We can also come up with an emergency edition if the news warrants it. Thanks for subscribing and we look forward to a fun summer!
Josh Minott has made a name for himself in the summer league while battling the breakfast.
Xavier Moon has been incredible for the Summer Clippers and he could help the right team.
Dion Waiters opens up about his NBA exit and how his attitude affected it all.
Can Gabe Vincent push D’Angelo Russell for the Lakers’ primary point guard spot?
Mat Ishbia says the Suns will win at everything they do. Should have said they are light years ahead.
Summer League screen game
All times eastern.
- Main screen: Thunder-Wizards (4:30 p.m. NBA TV). Chet Holmgren has been dominant and Bilal Coulibaly is fun to watch.
- Second Screen: Grizzlies-Lakers (11 p.m. ESPN). Max Christie has been a must-watch in the summer league.
- Show of the night: “The Afterparty” (Apple TV+). Season 2 just dropped, and Season 1 was so good, you should dive right in if you missed it
(Photo: Bill Streicher / USA Today)