Sixers Notes: Sixers coach Doug Collins says Thunder will miss James Harden

Posted: January 05, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY - When the Oklahoma City Thunder made the deal that sent James Harden to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Kevin Martin, it brought home to 76ers coach Doug Collins how much money plays a role in building an NBA team these days.

The main reason Oklahoma City made the deal - which hasn't worked out too badly for them considering that they entered Friday's game 24-7 - was that the Thunder wanted to protect cap space rather than give Harden a maxed out contract. Harden eventually signed an $80 million deal with the Rockets.

"The one sad thing about the NBA in some situations is when you can't keep it together because of money," Collins said. "That's sad. You have to make financial decisions."

Harden is just 23. Thunder mainstays Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook turned 24 in 2012. All three made the Olympic Team last summer.

"To think of this team being together with Harden for four or five years," Collins said, shaking his head as his voice trailed off. "But that's the economics of the NBA."

While Oklahoma City is playing well even after the trade, Collins said he believes that the team will miss Harden in the postseason because of his ability to get to the free-throw line. Harden went into Friday's game leading the league in free-throw attempts per game (10.2).

Bynum update soon

According to Sixers director of public relations Mike Preston, the Sixers will probably have an update on Andrew Bynum when the team returns from the road. The update, if it comes, will most likely take place Monday.

The last update came Dec. 21. Bynum reported that his left knee - he has bone bruises in both knees - felt fine. The Sixers said that Bynum was entering a six-step process that would go from low-impact work to the court.

At the time, Bynum was just swimming. Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo acknowledged earlier this week that Bynum was beyond "Step 1." He did not, however, discuss any specifics about the Sixers center's rehabilitation.


 

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