With free agency looming, attentions are beginning to turn to who the big movers might be this summer and how the landscape of the NBA might be altered by the beginning of the 2016-17 campaign.
Of course, The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are still very much focused on the present as they are locked in the NBA Finals and the reigning champions, the Warriors, are currently enjoying a 1-0 lead in the series.
But for the other 28 franchises, they are soaking up the offseason and thinking about how to improve their fortunes next year.
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James Harden is one of those people. The Houston Rockets shooting guard recently had a chat with teammate Jason Terry on SiriusXM NBA Radio and the veteran posed the question of who James' number one free-agent target would be this summer.
“Durantula,” Harden replied with a chuckle.
The Jet, now 38-years-old, said that he had already made his “recruiting pitch,” but then he “reneged” and called the Spurs “a better fit” for Durant.
It's quite an incredible admission from Terry considering he is still under contract with the Rockets, but the experienced guard said that San Antonio would be the place for Durant “if he wants to get a ring.”
As surprising as it may be to hear Terry say that, it's also admirable. Those comments are very hard to argue with and more than that, nobody would suggest that Houston is a better landing spot for Durant than San Antonio when it comes to contending for titles. It's refreshing to hear a player speak with no agenda or bias.
Harden took Terry's point on board, but also suggested that such a move might prove difficult.
“San Antonio has a lot of good players,” Harden replied. “Obviously, Kevin is a three [small forward] and they’ve got Kawhi Leonard over there, so I don’t know about that. But I mean, Kevin is a smart guy, he had a really good season. Obviously, it didn’t turn out the way he wanted to, but ultimately he’ll make the best decision for himself and his family. So we’ve just got to sit back and relax and wait.”
Harden, who finished this season with an average of 29 points a game, broke through at the Oklahoma City Thunder after being drafted third overall back in 2009.
As tantalising as the backcourt of Russell Westbrook and Harden was, the latter's star shone far too bright to be confined to a third option on offense. He would head to Houston in search of max-contract money and that's exactly what he got.
It would be interesting to see the pair link up again at the Toyota Center and operate as a two-pronged attack. If balanced correctly, they would rival Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as the most potent attacking duo in the league.
However, it's unlikely Durant will be attracted to a rumoured troubled locker room in Houston, or having to play in a different spot alongside Leonard in San Antonio.
Re-signing some kind of short-term deal in Oklahoma is most probable, but you never know in the NBA.