Houston Rockets superstar James Harden joined a regalia of NBA stars in Las Vegas for USA Basketball’s minicamp, only to face some questions regarding the wild summer of player movement taking over the league.
Per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press:
“Nothing that happens in the NBA surprises me anymore,” said the reigning MVP, who was once traded as a budding star from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets.
Other stars have also come to accept it as a reality, knowing teams will do their best to load up in hopes to have a fighting chance to make a deep postseason run.
“The league is definitely shaken-up a little bit, but that’s how it is,” Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker said. That’s the name of the game. That’s the business. You’re going to see guys go from team to team. … It’s just forcing everyone to step their games up individually.”
Yet the most surprising thing is how players have been able to maneuver their own landing spots of preference, as teams have had very little control of whether stars stay or go.
“For the most part the players have kind of dictated the movement across the league,” said Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker. “I think it’s great for the fans. I think it’s great for the league both domestically and internationally. It’s just a lot to follow and keep up with.”
The Rockets lost one of their key players in Trevor Ariza to the Suns this year but managed to keep their core intact by signing Chris Paul to a four-year, $160 million max deal and recently sealed the deal with young center Clint Capela for $90 million across five years.
Houston is now in line to add yet another star to replace Ariza, waiting for Carmelo Anthony to clear waivers and sign a one-year, $2.4 million deal that could help the Rockets dethrone the Golden State Warriors from their reign of terror after adding DeMarcus Cousins earlier this month.