With the NBA season officially ending for the Philadelphia 76ers, the tension turns to what moves might be made by the storied franchise over the summer, with perhaps the most pressing situation being whether James Harden will return.
Harden has a player option worth $35.6 million for the 2023-24 NBA season, and many believe he’ll opt out of his deal with the 76ers to test NBA free agency.
All signs have pointed to Harden leaving Philadelphia in favor of returning to the Houston Rockets, who recently hired Ime Udoka as their new head coach and could land one of the two top prospects in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Although returning to Houston may be intriguing, another destination has popped up as a possibility, which would reunite him with fellow superstar Kevin Durant on the Phoenix Suns.
According to Brian Geltzeiler of Sirius XM NBA Radio, Phoenix is on Harden’s radar if he leaves Philadelphia.
With free agency pending for James Harden, I’m hearing there is another team prominently on is radar in addition to Houston. That team is the Phoenix Suns.
— Brian Geltzeiler (@BGeltzNBA) May 15, 2023
If Harden leaves the 76ers and signs with the Suns, it would form another superstar trio in the league, which would obviously draw direct comparisons to the Brooklyn Nets when he was teamed up with Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The one big difference, however, is Devin Booker is not an off-the-floor problem and is arguably in the prime of his NBA career.
If the Suns plan to make this move, they’d have to figure out how to get rid of Chris Paul, which could be priority No. 1 for the team this summer.
In the event Phoenix can move Paul, signing Harden would be a no-brainer, and that move would make the Suns the team to beat in the Western Conference, if not the entire NBA.NEXT: Joy Taylor Has A Clear Opinion About Suns' Kevin Durant Trade