Southwest Notes: Harden, Lyles, Mavs, Ingram

Around the time that Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey departed the Rockets this fall, James Harden approached team management and ownership with a mandate to either build a championship team around him or trade him somewhere where he could win a ring, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

As Iko observes, this isn’t the first time that Harden has approached the Rockets with that sort of mandate. Sources tell The Athletic that the former MVP told the front office the same thing last year, which ultimately led to the Chris Paul/Russell Westbrook trade. That aligns with a 2019 report which suggested that Harden issued a “him or me” ultimatum to the club regarding Paul.

While it remains to be seen how the Harden situation will play out this time around, the fact that the Rockets were able to navigate a similar quagmire in 2019 helps explain why the team has confidence that it can once again sell the superstar guard on the outlook in Houston.

For more on the Harden situation, check out our roundup from earlier this morning. Here are a few more items from around the Southwest:

  • Spurs forward Trey Lyles is entering a contract year and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021, but he can envision himself in San Antonio beyond this season, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). I am very comfortable here,” Lyles said. “It is the perfect situation for me, perfect situation for the player I am, the player I see myself being and becoming. I would love to be able to stay here long term.”
  • The Texas Legends – the Mavericks‘ G League affiliate – are among the teams expected to opt out of the proposed G League bubble in Atlanta, sources tell JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link).
  • The Mavericks targeted James Johnson this offseason in large part because of his toughness, but he feels as if he can bring more than that to the team, as Dwain Price of Mavs.com writes. “I know what I can bring, I understand why they brought me here,” Johnson said. “I feel it was more than just the toughness and the black belt, but I’m able to play whatever role that’s thrown my way.”
  • The trade kicker on Brandon Ingram‘s new five-year contract with the Pelicans is the maximum allowable 15%, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
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6 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Harden, Lyles, Mavs, Ingram

  1. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    The improvements made by the Rockets this season have gone completely unnoticed, which is astounding. They’re finally rid of Mike D’Antoni, who was actually holding them back, and replaced him with someone who can get the most out of the talent they possess.

    Stephen Silas was a huge part of the Mavs setting the NBA record for offensive efficiency last season. Having John Wall instead of Westbrook (the poster child for inefficiency) goes a long way toward improving the offense.

    Houston also addressed the team’s biggest weakness, size and rebounding, by acquiring Christian Wood and Boogie Cousins. Those two might play at the same time, bringing back the twin towers to Clutch City (Olajuwon and Sampson). It will work because Wood can be a stretch four while Boogie is also a better spacer than people think. Cousins is a much better 3-point shooter than Russ and a very good passer as well.

    • blake

      You sound like your the one attempting to convince James harden to stay… he don’t want to be there, no star wants to sign there they get traded then it don’t work out… also you are putting a lot into buggy who can’t stay healthy. Just face it less a team is willing to over pay for a guy who made it clear he wants out your franchise is screwed for the next 6 years…

    • KnickerbockerAl

      You understand there are educated men on here. Who read and comprehend all that is written. You spend all last yr defending small ball and DAntoni here. You even called out teams who rely on bigs. You can’t have it both ways. You sound like a Trump die hard. Stop the count in one state. Don’t stop the count in another state. It’s hilarious dude
      Fertitta should send Harden back to OKC. Show him who’s boss. Worst thing I can think of. Is when your one of the best players on the team. And the worst teammate on team. Rockets should move on as quickly as possible. Never thought I see worse than Mello.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Spurs should concentrate on rebuilding. Vassell was a nice pickup. This yrs draft is loaded. They have three players that can bring back picks or young talent. Aldridge, DeRozan, Gay all should be moved by TD. A lottery pick next yr can be a star. I was their owner I make them do it.

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