There have been rumors linking James Harden to Phoenix. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM shut down that notion (via Twitter), writing that there’s a “zero percent chance” the Suns would pursue the former MVP.
Gambadoro also said it was “highly unlikely” the Suns would have interest in Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, pointing out that his large salary might be unpalatable for a roster that’s already top-heavy (Twitter link). On his Burns and Gambo radio show (Twitter link), the plugged-in local reporter stated in stronger terms that the Suns won’t pursue Lillard.
“They’re not getting James Harden, and they’re not getting Damian Lillard,” Gambadoro said.
Here are more rumors on the Suns:
- Gambadoro’s reporting on Lillard was seemingly in response to a new piece from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who hears from sources who say that the Trail Blazers have shown interest in Deandre Ayton in the past. However, Fischer also downplays Phoenix’s chances of landing Lillard, noting that the Suns don’t have the requisite assets to land a player of his caliber. The Blazers, meanwhile, still hope to build a contender around their all-time leading scorer, and remain intent on re-signing Jerami Grant, sources tell Fischer.
- Fischer’s article focuses on Chris Paul‘s uncertain future with the Suns and how it might have a ripple effect around the NBA. Although Lillard and Harden might be unrealistic targets, Fischer writes that the Suns remain intrigued by Kyrie Irving, who is entering unrestricted free agency. As Fischer notes, Irving would basically have to ask the Mavericks for help in a sign-and-trade. Dallas hasn’t shown any interest in helping the Lakers land Irving in a sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell, but Fischer wonders if Paul might be more appealing.
- Could the Lakers and Suns explore a sign-and-trade involving Russell and Paul? The Suns pursued the 27-year-old impending free agent ahead of the February trade deadline when he was still on the Timberwolves, sources tell Fischer. Big man Naz Reid, who’s also set to hit unrestricted free agency, was another player Phoenix desired in talks with Minnesota, Fischer adds.
- Hornets guard Terry Rozier has been linked to Phoenix in the past, but the Suns didn’t pursue him ahead of the trade deadline, sources tell Fischer. Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley, Celtics guard Payton Pritchard, Kings guard Davion Mitchell, and Heat guard Gabe Vincent are among the other backcourt options the Suns have monitored, per Fischer.
- Agents that Fischer has talked to believe Paul could get at least part of — if not the full — mid-level exception if he’s waived and becomes an unrestricted free agent. While Paul has been linked to his former club, the Clippers, Fischer notes that they can only offer the veteran’s minimum, and there’s “mutual interest” in a reunion between Russell Westbrook and the Clips.