Atlantic Notes: Harden, D’Antoni, Milton, Baynes

James Harden looked like the star the Nets were expecting as he made his debut with the team Saturday night, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Harden didn’t get to practice with his new Brooklyn teammates because the four-team trade wasn’t finalized until shortly before game time, but he still posted a 32-point triple-double in a win over Orlando.

A number of teams were rumored to be pursuing Harden, but the Nets were his first choice when he made a trade request to Rockets management. Reuniting with Kevin Durant was part of the reason, but he also wanted to rejoin former Houston coach Mike D’Antoni, who is now an assistant in Brooklyn.

“When (ex-Rockets general manager Daryl Morey) and Mike left, I sat back and reevaluated everything. Those are two guys I was very comfortable with and the decision-making for the organization,” Harden said. “Once they left, I had to figure out is this organization going into a rebuilt stage or were they still trying to compete at the highest level.

“(D’Antoni) was a part of it. Mike’s an unbelievable coach. He’s been doing it for a very, very long time. Obviously Mike is a factor. Being comfortable with him being comfortable with Kevin, knowing (Kyrie Irving), just those four pieces right there made it easy. Obviously them being in Brooklyn, for me it was a no-brainer.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers were also in the running for Harden, and they believed they were so close to a deal that the agents for Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle informed them of the pending trade, Lewis adds in the same story. But the Rockets never called the Sixers back after getting the offer from the Nets, reportedly because Houston owner Tilman Fertitta was determined not to send his star player to Morey.
  • Sixers guard Shake Milton started the final 32 games of last season, including the playoffs, but he seems better suited to provide instant offense as a sixth man, which is his role under new coach Doc Rivers, according to Keith Pompey of The Phildelphia Inquirer“I just want to do whatever is best for the team,” Milton said. “Whatever helps the team win, it really doesn’t matter if I’m starting or not. It’s an opportunity. I have a really good opportunity coming off the bench right now.”
  • Free agent addition Aron Baynes is only seeing about 16 minutes per night for the Raptors, but coach Nick Nurse plans to expand his role, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.” We’re gonna play Aron, we’re gonna try to get some extended minutes out of him,” Nurse said. “I know we’re not getting very much out of him at this point. We read the game … and his stint is gonna last as long as things are going well or he’s impacting well.”
newest oldest

45 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Harden, D’Antoni, Milton, Baynes

  1. Sillivan

    Rockets received the 76ers trade offer and never called 76ers back
    I thought it was cheap offer

    • xxtremecubsguy89

      No. Rockets owner did not want to send him there because Morey left. Says right there in the article. Said it before. Said it when it happened. Please stop with your silly proposals and comments. I honestly don’t know who’s worse, your or wallidipo. Actually you’re not worse. But still.

      • Harden Durant (mvps) and Irving

        I think you’re the worst or people who post like you. Sillivan posts a lot, so does Wallidipo, so do a lot of other people. Agree, disagree with them, have some banter but dont call people out just because their posts, opinions or whatever just straight up piss you off.

        If you dont like it, don’t read it!! Simply move your thumb over the screen and roll down. It’s that easy. Don’t be a bully. No one likes a bully.

        • hiflew

          I agree completely. Walladipo and Sillivan can be annoying or just flat out ludicrous, but Cubs Guy is almost always simply mean. His issues with Walladipo could go back a while for him, but it doesn’t look that way to everyone else. It’s time to give the past a rest and move on because right now you are looking like the bad guy.

          • x%sure

            HDMAI and hiflew may enjoy reading the work of village idiots but that is not universal. BTW the HDMAI postername fails from the getgo, indicating a spoof account. This poster is a stalking ahole before he starts typing.
            Talk about compassion for Walladipo the robohomer… HDMAI has no more than cubs89, or me.

            Posts that complain about a complainer is no better than the original complainer’s; it’s all the same. This post goes to the third level of the same.

            I don’t care for the The Athletic style where some unwritten rule says a poster can only be valid if he’s poster on his one fav team. Fortunately there’s not many like that on HR.

            • Harden Durant (mvps) and Irving

              X%sure – Absalutely 100% no one cares about you.

        • washington_bonercats

          And just like that MVPs is off the Rockets wagon! That didn’t take long bud!

  2. Sillivan

    Shake Milton has travel violations all the time because he shakes too much

    I’d suggest he changes his first name SHAKE

  3. DeathbyDeathwest

    The biggest loser in this trade is Rockets fans.

    Already a common theme in the Fertitta era.

  4. tedtheodorelogan

    James Harden is soft. His entire game is predicated on getting to the foul line. Opposing coaches need to realize this and tell their players to absolutely destroy him when he drives, instead of letting him get to the line with little brush ticky tack fouls. If it takes a flagrant, so be it. But Harden is the kind of dude who gets rattled when he gets hit in the mouth, he doesn’t get stronger. Make him scared to come in the lane. Old school Pistons defense.

    • washington_bonercats

      You are hilariously unaware of what you’re watching on TV my friend. Do you think you just cracked the code on Harden? That he gets to the line a lot so in order to stop it you…give more fouls? Just let your players foul out before the 2nd half right? You need to get out of your mind that there’s a certain way you need to score to be validated in the NBA. If you send Harden to the line, thats a bucket. I promise you, he and everyone around him knows that. If you don’t like it, stop it. When legends of the game call Harden the best offensive player EVER you need to take a step back and really ask how and why your opinions have formed the way they did.

      • nsideindy

        I think you missed the part where he says Harden is soft and if you hit him hard…it will scare him away from driving the lane as much. Therefore, if he doesn’t try to drive the lane, he won’t be going to the line as much.

      • tedtheodorelogan

        When getting to the line actually hurts/draws blood he might have to change his bs style of play. Flopping is lame, no matter how many point you score.

        • Lakers1

          The worst is his drive to the lane and he disguises his push off or hooking the defenders arm and getting the call.. it’s cheap basketball.. everyone gets on lebron for choosing super teams but what did durant do.. joined a 73 win team and won 2 rings.. joins with kyrie and pushes for harden.. he can’t win without super team teammates.. lebron has gone to finals with scrubs and took Cavs to 6 games vs warriors with love and Irving hurt….

          • Marty McRae

            Curry has been getting the absolute crap kicked out of him the last 7 years, his arms are ALWAYS scratched up, he NEVER gets foul calls, but also he NEVER complains – because that’s what team hoppers like Lebron do.

            • x%sure

              Marty— Steph avoids contact that might throw him off balance. So, fewer calls. Lebron is always getting bumped while driving; he just doesn’t get fazed as much (except to complain to the refs!).

              bonercats— you couldn’t even understand the easily understood OP, so how smart is your opinion of Harden? He will be semi-forgotten when he leaves, like Nate Archibald or Kevin Johnson. Curry won titles.

        • washington_bonercats

          Your asking people to draw blood on Harden while ignoring the fact that players will surely be ejected and in a season where a lot of guys are going to be unavailable, an ejection of an even decent player will be game changing. You need to get real about how he’s able to get away with what he’s doing. He knows the rules. If the answer was just be aggressive than Harden wouldn’t be a top 5 player in the NBA

  5. halos2017

    I would have traded him to the last team he wanted to go
    to!!!! He is a selfish player and there is a reason why the teams he has been on never wins.

    • hiflew

      I don’t particularly like the guy either, but he has literally made the playoffs every season of his career. How do you think that he never wins?

      • mlbnyyfan

        The way things are going only a handful of teams have a chance to win a Championship every year. Every sport only about 4-6 teams will win. College football the same way because top recruits only going to the same colleges. So that’s a problem what’s the solution

      • halos2017

        When 50% of the teams goes to playoffs that’s not really that difficult. How many titles has his teams won? How many finals has he appeared in? They traded for players he requested year after year and still nothing. He gets special rules by the refs. He practices on getting fouled. Teams playing him with both hands behind their backs to defend him. Ridiculous. I loved the NBA when it was team basketball. Now it’s just about the big 3 on teams and creating super teams. I’m not a fan of the nba as I used to be.

    • washington_bonercats

      I see this take a lot from people who dont think past the star player when being the GM in their head. If you take James Harden, an all time great Rocket, best player you’ve had in 20 years and trade him to an awful situation purely out of spite because he wants to move on, YOU WILL NEVER EVER GET ANOTHER FREE AGENT TO SIGN THERE EVER EVER EVER.

      • halos2017

        Money talks. Houston has always got players to sign there. The players are running the league. Don’t know why they even have GM’s.

      • x%sure

        I doubt any team not on Harden’s list would be interested, because he may leave or disrupt them too. I doubt HOU would turn down a better offer for a reputation reason. But it would be a reason for disqualification if the offers were equal.

  6. Marty McRae

    Weird thing is KD, Harden and Dinwiddie would win more games than KD, Haden and Kyrie. I think KD and Harden is probably the best possible combo of the 3 players, followed by KD and Kyrie. The 3 together just don’t seem like they will pan out.

    I think we just saw what Harden+Westbrook/Wall looks like, Harden+Kyrie is as funny/nightmare as can be in this game.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      In my opinion they were better off without Harden and with deeper bench. Guess with LaVert “injury” hindsight is 20/20, but don’t think they needed Harden to win.

      It doesn’t matter what seed they get, the big names will turn it on in the playoffs, and LaVert and Allen could have shouldered the load during reg season. That’s my opinion anyway, you will take it or leave it.

      • Marty McRae

        I struggle to find games where Harden has recently turned it on in the playoffs, but who knows, maybe he actually will play off ball and get authentic numbers for once in his career, that’s entirely possible.

  7. Otogar

    From the Nets perspective, assuming that was an option, I would have simply swapped Irving for Harden. Probably they would have had to include fewer picks, and now they would be deeper and with less drama.

  8. KnickerbockerAl

    If you watched Harden for last 6 yrs. Then you should know there can be issues on Nets. He’s absolutely going to have to change. He’s also going to have to play D. Nets are not deep now. Now he could do all the right things to win. But it’s not a given with his history. IMO they are not good enough this yr. Now will that have a negative effect moving on. We will see. This is not just about big three fitting in. This is three egos and divas fitting in. In a market that will tear them down at first sign of disfunction. Give it time to see what develops. All three can opt out after two yrs.

    • washington_bonercats

      Harden in every single interview has said he’s committed to sacrificing touches for the good of the team. The game last night was pretty evident that he good do that and get his buckets in the same game. What you have is 3 players who’s legacy ride on this team winning. KD had to go to the Warriors to win, Kyrie got lucky he was in Cleveland and did nothing in Boston, and Harden has been the worst playoff performer over the last majority of seasons, failing to bring anything to Houston after every move they made. These guys have all played with other elite players. I wouldn’t worry about the Nets

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Harden said it. Oh well that should be enough for all of us. Three rings coming ?????
        Kyrie wasn’t playing. And no team is built off one gm. Three great players is not a guarantee for anything except going over the salary cap. This is not Bosch, Wade, Bron. Miami is not NYC. Heat didn’t have comp that Nets have in East. Harden is already 30lbs overweight. I’ll wait 40 gms with whole team playing. HArden in shape before I start talking rings. Like I said IMO they are not winning this yr. The east is not weak. Bucks, Celtics, Heat, Sixers all will be a tough out for Nets in playoffs. And any of them could come out of East. Then there’s beating the West team. Just can’t see them winning this yr.

  9. RyanO

    Hey Harden haters, looked pretty good yesterday eh? He made some incredible passes & seemed committed to moving the ball, granted it was 1 game. I think the Nets will be fine so long as Kyrie comes back and is locked in.

    On a separate note, if Sixers actually offered Simmons and thybulle & they rejected bc of fertitta that’s terrible. Idk why this owner bought the team, seems like every time we hear about him he’s complaining about paying people, meddling in basketball ops, or somehow getting in the way. Believe it or not he seems like a worse version of Dolan …

Leave a Reply