The rumors about James Harden leaving the Brooklyn Nets during the offseason have been swirling around the past few days. He didn’t sign a contract extension with Brooklyn ahead of the Oct. 18 deadline, and if he doesn’t opt-in to his 2022-23 player option, he could be on the move this summer. And if he were to leave the Nets, ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins wouldn’t blame him.
Last week, Perkins called both Kevin Durant and Harden ‘soft’ for not calling Kyrie Irving out. With the fuel that Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer added to the fire on Tuesday, Perkins went from ragging on Harden to showing support for him.
When Harden was asked about the reports on Tuesday night, he said, “Did you guys hear it from me? I don’t know about no reports.”
The next day, Perkins said that Harden “deserves better.”
Kendrick Perkins believes that James Harden should leave the Brooklyn Nets.
Harden scored 33 points (11-of-24), pulled down 12 rebounds, and added 11 assists in a 106-96 loss to the Lakers on Tuesday, hours after Fischer’s article about Harden was released.
Fischer wrote that “several confidants” said that Harden is looking to explore opportunities with other teams during the offseason. One of the reasons that Fischer listed had to do with Harden being frustrated with Irving’s part-time status.
The Nets’ game against the Lakers on Tuesday would’ve likely had a different result if it were played in Los Angeles instead of Brooklyn. That way, Irving would’ve been allowed to play, but because of his choice to remain unvaccinated, Harden was left to lead the Nets alone.
That’s what caused Perkins to go on a tangent. Until Joe Harris and Durant return to the court, it’s going to be up to Harden to be the main source of offensive production in games played at Barclays Center.
On the topic of Irving not folding to the different types of pressure in reference to his vaccination status, Perkins said that if the point guard is unwilling to listen, Harden should “get out.”
Perkins ended with, “When it comes down to James Harden being reliable and showing up to work, he has done that and has not disappointed.”
The 2008 NBA champion is right about that. Harden has been the Nets’ most consistent star this year, and if it weren’t for KD getting hurt, he’d be right there with Harden. Night in and night out, it’s been Harden and Durant that have given their all to Brooklyn. The same can’t be said in regards to Irving.
Is Perkins right, should Harden leave the Nets this summer?