The Oklahoma City Thunder were preparing for the worst when it came to James Harden and his contract situation. While Thunder fans were trying to stay optimistic about Harden’s chances of signing an extension, GM Sam Presti was seeing what he could get back for Harden if he had to trade him.
The Thunder eventually traded Harden to the Houston Rockets last Saturday night but that wasn’t the only team OKC had trade talks with over Harden.
The Phoenix Suns were apparently contacted and interested in making a play for Harden.
“We were engaged in discussions on numerous occasions,” Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby told the Arizona Republic. “We most recently met in person when we played them (in Tulsa, Okla., on Oct. 19). At the end of the day, there wasn’t a deal that was workable for both sides.”
The Suns had draft picks to offer OKC but they could not put together a package that the Thunder liked enough.
OKC got an expiring contract and great scorer in Kevin Martin from Houston as well as rookie Jeremy Lamb and three good draft picks. The best player Phoenix could have possibly offered might have been Marcin Gortat or Luis Scola, but both have at least two years left on their contracts and Phoenix didn’t have a young prospect to help sweeten the deal either.
Houston had the best package to offer the Thunder, that is for sure, and they made out okay. Really the only case you could make regarding the Thunder getting a better deal is if they had decided to pay Harden $6 million more and keep him.