NBA Buzz: Harden, Free Agency, Lillard, Zion, Bagley

James Harden - photo via USA Today Sports Images

James Harden and the Nets failed to come to an agreement on a contract extension prior to the deadline.

However, Harden reassures Nets fans that he isn’t going anywhere and that his main focus is to win a championship.

“The contract, the money, it’s going to be there,” Harden said. “I don’t plan on leaving this organization and the situation that we have.”

Harden wanted to go to Brooklyn after requesting a trade from the Rockets, and so far, he seems content on where he’s at.

“I love it here,” Harden added. “Myself and [Brooklyn owners] Joe [Tsai] and Clara [Wu Tsai] and [GM] Sean [Marks] and the front office and [alternate governor Oliver Weisberg] and [head coach] Steve [Nash]. From top to bottom the communication has been unbelievable, it’s been amazing. I feel at home. It’s nothing to worry about. For me individually I just want to focus on this year and that’s it.”

Harden can earn up to $62 million more next offseason.

More NBA Buzz

  • Damian Lillard said he’s not leaving Portland in a conversation with Jason Quick of The Athletic. Lillard, who was reportedly close to requesting a trade over the offseason, seems to be a fan of the Trail Blazers’ hire of Chauncey Billups as their next head coach. “I think a big part of (my change in mindset) was me and Chauncey’s conversations, and where we see things the same,” Lillard said.
  • Zion Williamson reached north of 300 pounds during the offseason, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Williamson is currently out with a right foot injury, as his return to the floor remains uncertain.
  • Marvin Bagley isn’t in the Kings’ rotation to start the season, which led to his agent, Jeff Schwartz, to speak out, per a release from Excel Sports on Twitter. “Sacramento has informed Marvin Bagley he is not in the opening night rotation, which is completely baffling,” Schwartz said. “It’s clear they have no plans for him in the future, and yet, passed on potential deals at last year’s deadline and this summer based on “value.” Instead, they chose to bring him back but not to play him, a move completely contradictory to their “value” argument. This is a case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization.”

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