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The Warriors and Wizards Turned Down James Harden When the Thunder Offered Him, Bill Simmons Says

A few days late on this one, but over the weekend, Bill Simmons dropped this nugget in a column:

Multiple sources have told me that, when Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti decided to shop James Harden, Golden State was his first call. He wanted Klay Thompson and a pick. The Warriors would only consider the trade if Oklahoma City took back Biedrins or Jefferson for 2013 expirings, knowing they’d get crushed by the luxury tax in 2014 with Harden’s extension plus Steph Curry’s extension plus David Lee plus Bogut/Jefferson/Biedrins.13 At that point, Presti went to Washington (offering Harden for Bradley Beal, and unbelievably getting turned down), then Houston (where the shopping heated up). Presti never ended up calling Golden State back.

The Wizards portion had been covered previously, back in December, and everyone got a good laugh out of it. But the Warriors had a shot at Harden and passed? That’s wild because of the potential of a Curry/Harden backcourt. That would have paired, arguably, two of the top six players at their respective positions, in the same backcourt.

(Counter argument: Harden needs the ball to be successful – just like Monta Ellis! Except he’s a much better all around player than Ellis.)

Klay Thompson is a promising scorer (16.6 ppg), who isn’t shooting quite as well as last season – 42% FGs, 39% three’s – but is still only 23.

But Presti is too smart to take on a horrendous contract, so this is all a moot point. Blasted luxury tax and owners who care about such things!

Hey, so how is that Harden deal working out for the Thunder so far? We know the Rockets are well ahead of schedule (thanks to Harden), and probably playoff-bound, but Kevin Martin has quietly had a very nice year in OKC: 14.3 ppg, 44/42/89. It’s his highest field goal percentage since 2007-2008, and he’s never shot the ball this well from deep.

Life with Westbrook and Durant is clearly the good life. Jeremy Lamb: 19 games, probably has spent more time in the D-League. Hasheem Thabeet is playing 11 minutes a night, which is a lot for him. You don’t always get a win-win in NBA trades, but what looked like a steal for the Rockets, so far, has been good for both teams.

 

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