James Harden tries to explain to the LA Clippers fans why he’s struggling.
The LA Clippers have yet to win a game since acquiring James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers. Aware that he is under the radar, the 2018 NBA MVP shared his timeline to determine when he can blend in with his new team.
"“For me individually, this is only my third game. I didn’t have a training camp, I didn’t have a preseason, so everything is still moving fast speed for me. I need about a 10-game window then kind of see where I am from there,” Harden said to reporters after their Friday 126-144 loss to the Dallas Mavericks."
That 10-game requirement of Harden is unlikely to sit well with Clippers’ fans. Also, the fact that the team has lost three straight games only rubs salt on the situation.
What happens if James Harden fails to blend in?
So far, the 10-time All-Star has managed to chip in 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.7 steals in 32 minutes of action in the Clippers’ last three games.
The good news is that even with the drop in numbers, the 34-year-old guard owns a high shooting clip from the field.
He is norming a 54.2% FG shooting clip and 50% from the three-point region. But of course, this is mainly because he has not taken many shots in his first three games.
That showed in his stats last season with the Sixers. However, the difference is that he is now alongside three legitimate All-Stars in Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook.
Hence, blending in is easier said than done for the 2012 Sixth Man of the Year award winner. And if things don’t work out, what lies ahead for “The Beard?”
James Harden’s future not looking good
Harden is on a one-year $35.6 million deal with the Clippers, something that was inherited from the Sixers. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason and there is no telling if he will stay on in Los Angeles.
There is a chance that the Clippers could jump the gun and offer the third overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft a new contract before the current NBA season ends. But that all hinges on how he fits in.
Harden gave himself 10 games to assess himself with the Clippers. There is a chance that this could happen earlier than that. Whether he fits in or not during that time frame will raise new questions. Will he stay with the Clippers until he eventually retires?
His plight in the offseason should be an indication that Harden’s options are dwindling. The Clippers were the only one who showed interest so it won’t be surprising if his options by the summer will be little to none.
At 34 years old, Harden will need to deal with the fact that despite this age of player power, this could potentially be his last huge contract. The only way to rebuff that is to prove he fits in with the Clippers and help the franchise go on a deep run and win an NBA title.