Despite making four straight All-Star teams and scoring at an elite level for a team that made the Western Conference Finals just 15 months ago, Harden is known as a player with effort issues and the sort of temperament that might not be suited to leading a contender. Luckily, this upcoming season offers a fresh opportunity for Harden and the Rockets to win over the hearts and minds of basketball fans. Dwight Howard is gone, free agents Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon are around to provide help, and Mike D’Antoni is in as head coach.
The Jazz plan to waive Kendall Marshall. In a deal constructed around salary-cap maneuvering, the Philadelphia 76ers sent guard Kendall Marshall to the Utah Jazz for center Tibor Pleiss, two second-round picks and cash. The Jazz plan to waive Marshall before his $2 million contract becomes guaranteed Saturday, league sources told The Vertical.
After announcing he will transfer to Marietta (GA) Wheeler from White Plains (N.Y.) Stepinac, Jordan Tucker has now cut his college list, too. The 6-foot-7 wing is down to Duke, Maryland, Syracuse, UConn, Indiana, Villanova, USC and Louisville, as reported by LoHud.com. Duke has yet to offer Tucker but he is planning to visit next week, the site reported. "I'm pretty much set with my final list," he said last month. "I haven't announced it yet because I'm waiting on a Duke offer, and then I'll announce after that."