SH Blog: Kendrick Perkins said Harden and Thunder are “getting close” on a deal

Will James Harden stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the long run? Will he take less money to do so? These have been the questions surrounding the talented guard through much of the summer, and Sam Presti had some choice words regarding the situation, as you can see in our Tuesday blog. Then, Kendrick Perkins came out and spoke as if he had some sort of inside knowledge regarding the contract talks between the team and Harden. See what was said, along with other news that mattered on Wednesday below:

  • Kendrick Perkins may have some inside information on the situation of James Harden’s contract, from Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman: “With the deadline fast approaching for the Thunder to come to terms on a contract extension for James Harden, a potential sliver of hope was heard Wednesday afternoon. Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, speaking following an appearance at a Thunder Fit event at a local middle school, said the two sides are “getting close” on a deal that would keep the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in Oklahoma City. “We’re doing good. We’re making positive steps going forward,” Perkins said of the organization’s off-season. “We got coach (Scott) Brooks locked in. We got Serge (Ibaka) locked in. And we’re getting close with James, and we’re getting close to keeping our unit together. And we’re still hungry.”
  • Matt Barnes may be leaning towards joining the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated: “When Barnes was arrested by Manhattan Beach police in late July because of an outstanding traffic warrant, it appeared the off-court distraction would diminish those odds even more. Yet Barnes may indeed be returning to Los Angeles — with the Clippers. Sources say the 32-year-old is strongly leaning toward joining the other inhabitants of Staples Center, and a deal could be formalized later this week. Barnes turned down a more lucrative deal with Cleveland two summers ago to sign with the Lakers at the behest of Kobe Bryant, and it appears a similar superstar dynamic could be in play with the Clippers and Chris Paul.”
  • Dwyane Wade believes that the Bulls can only go as far as Derrick Rose can take them (who wouldn’t?), from Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago: “Dwyane Wade knows the truth. And the truth, as far is it pertains to the Chicago Bulls, is that the team is only going to get back to a championship caliber level if Derrick Rose can return to an MVP level after knee surgery. Wade, like fans throughout Chicago, knows that Rose and his knee are crucial in getting the franchise back to where they were two years ago, in the Eastern Conference finals, and beyond. “Every season’s different,” Wade told ESPNChicago.com on Wednesday afternoon during a promotional event for his book, “A Father First. “Obviously, a healthy Derrick Rose will help that. That’s probably the biggest thing. They have a good core around him of players, but they need him to be (the) Derrick Rose that he was and if he’s that then they’re going to be a team that you’ve got to continue to watch out for.”
  • Dwight Howard had his first training session with the Lakers, according to Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register: “Details are scarce and Lakers spokesman John Black declined to comment, but Howard on Monday had his first hands-on session with Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti and head physical therapist Judy Seto at the team’s training facility in El Segundo. Howard is rehabilitating after April 20 spinal surgery, and no one has been ready to commit to a day, week or even month when Howard will make his Lakers debut. But the level of mobility and strength Howard is already showing has to be encouraging for anyone hopeful he’ll be jumping for that opening tip-off Oct. 30 against Dallas. Howard insisted at his introductory Lakers news conference that he will not play until he is truly 100 percent.
  • Leandro Barbosa says former teammate Steve Nash wants him to join the Lakers, from Kurt Helin of NBC Sports: “He’s one of those guys who thinks he deserves more but is likely only going to see veteran minimum offers. Welcome to the new CBA. But some teams are talking to him, the Brazilian guard told UOL Esporte, a publication in his native country (translation via Hoopshype). “Among others, I’m talking with Phoenix, the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Steve Nash even texted me because he wants me there.”
  • Tyreke Evans heads into the season with a feeling of uncertainty due to his contract situation, from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports: “”I’ve had injuries; not been in the best shape,” Evans said. This season will be an important one for Evans. The Kings have yet to offer him a contract extension. If they don’t extend him, he’ll become a restricted free agent after the season. Evans knows he faces an uncertain future, and has devoted himself this summer to improving his game. He says he’s taken just one week off since the end of last season, and this is the first offseason he primarily has worked out in Sacramento. He’s played in a couple of pro-am leagues and says he’s completely healthy now.”
  • Mark Cuban is not necessarily all that impressed with what the Lakers have right now, from Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas: “The Lakers have done this before. Gary Payton and Karl Malone and Kobe and Shaq were all together, and it didn’t work,” Cuban said Monday, referring to the 2003-04 Lakers, who lost in the Finals, when introducing his team’s acquisitions to the media and season-ticket holders. “It takes great chemistry. … It takes guys wanting to be there. I don’t know if all their guys want to be there.” Cuban may have been referring to Howard, who can become a free agent after this season. “It’s going to be interesting,” Cuban continued. “Look, they’re going to have a great team, but I remember when we made our run, we weren’t supposed to win any series. Remember the Lakers were the defending champs, and we swept them and they had everybody back.”
  • Bill Russell is recovering well from his heart procedure, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston: “Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell recently underwent a heart procedure, but is feeling well and is hoping to be back in Boston in late October, according to his business manager Stuart Layne. Celtics vice president of media relations/alumni relations Jeff Twiss spoke with Layne on Monday and relayed that Russell is on the road to recovery.”
  • Rajon Rondo had a word with BET about Ray Allen, kind of. Jessica Camerato of CSNNE has the story: “BET: Have you talked to Jesus? Have you talked to Ray Allen, man? Rondo: Oh, that guy. BET: Ohh. Rondo: I talk to the Lord. BET: You say you what? Rondo: To the Lord. Allen, nicknamed “Jesus Shuttlesworth” for the character he played in the movie “He Got Game,” signed with the Miami Heat in July as an unrestricted free agent. Following his departure from the Boston Celtics, reports buzzed of a soured relationship between the two guards.”
  • Andray BlatcheThere have been some conflicting reports about Andray Blatche over the past week or so, but it appears he has officially signed on with the Nets, according to Colin Stephenson of The Star-Ledger: “The Nets announced today that they have officially signed former Washington Wizards center Andray Blatche, who, it is expected, will come off the bench to back up both center Brook Lopez and power forward Kris Humphries. “In his situation, we were looking for the right fit,” Blatche’s agent, Andy Miller said of why the 6-11, 260-pounder would sign with Brooklyn.”
  • Brandon Roy talks about missing the concept of “team” during his brief retirement, and shows that he still has the shooting touch in this video.
  • At this point, everyone ought to know the globally popular song called “Gangnam Style” by Korean rapper Psy. A youtuber found some NBA clips to match the song, and it’s pretty darn good (via Trey Kerby of TBJ).

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