James Harden’s name has surfaced in rumors ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, but his head coach insists that Harden is staying in Brooklyn.
Steve Nash told reporters on Sunday that Harden will not be traded.
“I’ve talked to James; he wants to be here,” Nash said. “He wants to be here long-term as well, so I don’t think anything’s changed other than noise from the outside. James wants to be here, we’re building with James and we think we have the best chance to win with James. I don’t think anything’s changed on the inside, in our locker room, in our communication. It’s just all the noise from the (outside).”
Harden, 32, is averaging 22.5 points, 10.2 assists and 8.0 rebounds in 44 games this season. He has averaged 25.0 points during his career while earning one Most Valuable Player award in 2017-18 and notching nine All-Star selections.
Brooklyn offered Harden a 3-year, $161 million extension last offseason that he declined. He has a $47.4 million player option for next season and could sign a longer-term deal worth $200 million or more, depending on whether he stays with Brooklyn or targets another team.
Harden has missed two games in a row because of left hamstring tightness. Nash downplayed the severity of the injury and reiterated that communication between Harden and the Nets has been strong this season.
“This has been a constant thing since the summer,” Nash said. “He’s continually reiterated that he wants to be here. And we’ve continually said that we want him here and that that’s our best chance to win, so nothing’s changed from the communication that we’ve had.”
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