James Harden: I Don't Plan On Leaving Nets

James Harden elected not to sign an extension with the Brooklyn Nets before the start of the 21-22 season as he can sign a four-year, $227 million deal during the 2022 offseason.

"The contract, the money, it's going to be there," said Harden. "I don't plan on leaving this organization and the situation that we have."

The Nets traded for Harden in January of this year.

"I love it here," added Harden. "I feel at home. It's nothing to worry about...For me individually, I just want to focus on this year."

Read more: https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/264485/James-Harden-I-Dont-Plan-On-Leaving-Nets

Raptors Exercise 22-23 Options On Precious Achiuwa, Malachi Flynn

The Toronto Raptors have exercised the third-year team option on the rookie scale contracts of forward Precious Achiuwa and guard Malachi Flynn.

Achiuwa, 6-foot-8, 244 pounds, was acquired from the Miami Heat along with Goran Dragic as part of a sign-and-trade for Kyle Lowry. He averaged 5.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 12.1 minutes in 61 games (four starts) as a rookie last season. For his efforts, Achiuwa was named to the World Team roster for the 2021 NBA Rising Stars. He was picked 20th overall by Miami in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Flynn, 6-foot-1, 176 pounds, was selected 29th overall by the Raptors in the 2020 NBA Draft. He averaged 7.5 points, 2.9 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 19.7 minutes in 47 games (14 starts) during his rookie campaign. Flynn scored in double figures in 17 contests, including 20 or more on four times. He earned Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honours for April; posting averages of 12.7 points, 4.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 28.3 minutes in 15 games.

Read more: https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/264484/Raptors-Exercise-22-23-Options-On-Precious-Achiuwa-Malachi-Flynn

Celtics Re-Sign Jabari Parker

The Boston Celtics have re-signed forward Jabari Parker after he cleared waivers.

Signed by the Celtics on April 16 of last season, Parker, 26, averaged 6.4 points (54.2% FG, 76.9% FT), 3.6 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 13.8 minutes over 10 games played with Boston in 2020-21. He played in four postseason games during Boston's First Round series against Brooklyn, producing 8.5 points on 61.9% shooting, and 3.8 rebounds in 14.8 minutes.

Selected with the second overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2014 NBA Draft, Parker has averaged 14.5 points (49.4% FG, 32.1% 3-PT, 74.1% FT), 5.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 28.3 minutes in 298 career games (190 starts) over seven NBA seasons with Milwaukee, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, Sacramento, and Boston. He has averaged at least 14.0 points in four of his seven NBA seasons, including two straight years from 2018-19 to 2019-20.

Read more: https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/264483/Celtics-Re-Sign-Jabari-Parker

Marvin Bagley's Agent Criticizes Treatment By Kings

Marvin Bagley's agent issued a public statement critical of the Sacramento Kings after it was determined he wouldn't be in the rotation to start the season.

"Sacramento has informed Marvin Bagley he is not in the opening night rotation, which is completely baffling," Jeff Schwartz said in a statement. "It's clear they have no plans for him in the future. And yet, passed on potential deals at last year's deadline and this summer based on 'value.' Instead they chose to bring him back but not to play him, a move completely contradictory to their 'value' argument."

The statement came just short of publicly requesting a trade, but Schwartz has attempted to do that behind the scenes for more than a year.

Luke Walton has elected to play smaller lineups this preseason, mostly to feature three-guard lineups, and it has squeezed Bagley's playing time for the time being.

Begley went second overall in 2018.

"This is a case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization," Schwartz said.

Read more: https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/264482/Marvin-Bagleys-Agent-Criticizes-Treatment-By-Kings

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, James Harden Headline First 25 Of NBA's Top 75

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki joined 20 holdovers of the NBA's Top 75 of all-time.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Nate Archibald

Charles Barkley

Bob Cousy

Dave Cowens

Kevin Durant

Julius Erving

George Gervin

Hal Greer

James Harden

Elvin Hayes

Jerry Lucas

Moses Malone

Kevin McHale

George Mikan

Steve Nash

Dirk Nowitzki

Hakeem Olajuwon

Bob Pettit

Willis Reed

Oscar Robertson

David Robinson

Bill Russell

John Stockton

Read more: https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/264481/Giannis-Antetokounmpo-Kevin-Durant-James-Harden-Headline-First-25-Of-NBAs-Top-75

Damian Lillard: I'm Not Leaving Portland

On the eve of the 21-22 regular season, Damian Lillard responded to a question about the possibility of trade speculation if the Portland Trail Blazers get off to a slow start.

"I'll answer that the same way I answered it on media day: I'm not leaving Portland," said Damian Lillard. "It's an easy thing and a popular thing to say but it's not gonna happen."

There were reports over the offseason that Lillard was close to requesting a trade from the Blazers, which he refuted at the time.

"Adversity is going to hit, there's goong to be tough times. So if it starts off rocky or if it starts out as a struggle I won't be happy about it, nobody would. But I'm not going to jump ship and bail out when that happens."

Read more: https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/264480/Damian-Lillard-Im-Not-Leaving-Portland

James Jones: We Didn't Have Real Negotiations With Deandre Ayton

James Jones spoke with Sam Amick of The Athletic on Monday, just a few hours after the Phoenix Suns were able to agree to an extension with Deandre Ayton. Ayton will become a restricted free agent during the 2022 offseason.

Jones contends that the Suns were open to discussing the possibility of a three- or four-year max and that it was only the designated rookie five-year max that was completely off the table.

"We didn't have real negotiations," Jones said.

That notion, however, was strongly disputed by Ayton's agents, Bill Duffy and Nima Namakian.

Teams cannot have more than two players on designated rookie max extension players on their team at any given time. Ayton's representatives were never told that by the Suns that was a consideration on why a five-year max wasn't offered.

"We know it's important to us; it's important to him that we continue to progress and we continue to develop and we win (a title)," said Jones. "So when we talked about a focus this offseason, it was to continue to build this team. So for us, unfortunately, we are where we are (with Ayton). No agreement. We didn't have real negotiations. You talk about conversations (with Ayton's representatives, Bill Duffy and Nima ) - it was five-year, max extension like the other peers, the other former No. 1 picks, and that's where the conversation started and ended. Anything less than a five-year max wasn't something to be considered - not something to talk about. It's evident. They talk about us having discussions on a three-year, four-year max (deals). Those are real."

Jones also contends that the perception that Robert Sarver is being frugal by not offering a five-year max to Ayton is misguided.

"It's inaccurate," said Jones If you just look at the moves we've made, it's inaccurate. It's just not (true). If you look at all the moves we've made, and the things we've done, from the practice facility to the roster itself to acquiring Chris Paul, going and acquiring Jae Crowder, extending the guys that we have, that's not accurate.

"When you boil this thing down, it's disappointing that we didn't get a deal done. It's disappointing that it was a five-year-rookie-max-or-bust, or nothing to talk about, and we just didn't have real substantial conversations. And that (idea that a) lack of a deal is a signal that we aren't committed to Deandre or interested in continuing, that we don't believe in him, that becomes the narrative. But it's the furthest from the truth."

Read more: https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/264479/James-Jones-We-Didnt-Have-Real-Negotiations-With-Deandre-Ayton

Joel Embiid: Our Job Is Not To Babysit Somebody

Ben Simmons was kicked out of practice on Tuesday and will miss the first game of the regular season due to a suspension, which had led to Joel Embiid speak more candidly about the situation.

"At this point, I don't care about that man," said Embiid. "He does whatever he wants. That's not my job... I'm only focused on trying to make the team better."

Embiid has alternated between showing support for Simmons and expressing frustration.

"At the end of the day, our job is not to babysit somebody," added Embiid. "We get paid just on the court. Play hard. Win some games. That's all we get paid for. We don't get paid to come out here and try to babysit somebody. That's not our job. I'm sure my teammates feel that way."

Simmons is attempting to get traded from the 76ers, but the front office has yet to find a trade to its liking.

Read more: https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/264478/Joel-Embiid-Our-Job-Is-Not-To-Babysit-Somebody

76ers Suspend Ben Simmons One Game For Detrimental Conduct

Ben Simmons has been suspended one game by the Philadelphia 76ers for conduct detrimental to the team. Simmons will miss Philadelphia's season opener on Wednesday.

Simmons reported to the 76ers last week after holding out during training camp in hopes of a trade.

According to Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice, Simmons was suspended by the 76ers due to an incident that occurred at practice on Tuesday.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Simmons was kicked out of practice by Doc Rivers. Simmons has shown a "reluctance to physically and mentally engage with the Sixers since his return."

Read more: https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/264477/76ers-Suspend-Ben-Simmons-One-Game-For-Detrimental-Conduct

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