Found April 19, 2013 on Pass The Pill:
The Toronto Raptors apperantly really wanted to keep Jonas Valanciunas in When the Oklahoma City Thunder traded shooting guard James Harden to the Houston Rockets prior to the season, there was a lot of speculation surrounding where else Harden could have ended up. Due to salary restrictions and already having Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka locked up long-term, the Thunder almost had no choice but to deal their Sixth Man of the Year. They got a solid return, and stockpiled some assets that should help them in the coming years. Harden has been great this season, proving that he was not just a product of the players around him. Who wouldn’t want a player like James Harden, right? The Toronto Raptors, apparently. Via Grantland: As for Valanciunas, the promising Raptors big man who’s been averaging a 15-7 since mid-March, here’s a true story: When Sam Presti was quietly shopping James Harden last October, he called Toronto to feel out a Jonas package. And got rebuffed. Quickly. Let’s give Jonas the edge over Enes if only because Weezer never wrote a song called “My Name Is Enes.” Yes, the Toronto Raptors did not want to part ways with Jonas Valanciunas to land James Harden. Doesn’t this seem like a total no brainer if you’re Toronto? You are in a market where it’s tough to attract superstars in free agency, forcing you to look at the trade market even closer. How do you not take this deal every day of the week? Then again, this is the same franchise who traded for Rudy Gay and his massive contract. Also the same franchise who thought that signing Landry Fields would land them Steve Nash. This is why the Raptors are a joke, and why they can’t have nice things. -Mark Evans, Assistant Manager/Editor of Content Follow us on Twitter The post Toronto Raptors Turned Down Offer For James Harden appeared first on Pass The Pill - Kings of Hoops.

Harden ready to face former team in playoffs

OKLAHOMA CITY You had to know this was going to happen. You just knew James Harden was going to come back at some point, and at some point it was going to really matter. And now the Thunder are in a no-win situation, while Harden is poised for the ultimate "I told you so" moment. Five days before the season started, the Thunder traded the popular Harden to Houston,...

Thunder prepare to face Harden, Rockets

OKLAHOMA CITY You had to know this was going to happen. You just knew James Harden was going to come back at some point and at some point it was going to really matter. And now the Thunder are in a no-win situation while Harden is poised for the ultimate "I told you so" moment. Five days before the season started, the Thunder traded the popular Harden to Houston and...

Can Harden impact Thunder series?

The favorite to take home the Larry O'Brien Trophy sits comfortably in an Eastern Conference lacking few, if any, real challengers. But while the Miami Heat begins defense of its title with a series of not-so-intriguing first- and potential second-round playoff match-ups, the Western Conference is riddled with compelling games and storylines. The West may not have the presumptive...

Thunder out to prove they're better without Harden

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By JEFF LATZKE AP Sports Writer The Oklahoma City Thunder have faced questions all season on whether they'd be able to succeed after trading James Harden away during training camp. Harden blossomed in Houston, becoming an All-Star and the NBA's fifth-leading scorer in his first opportunity to be a franchise's featured...

Harden changes everything for young Rockets

(Eds: APNewsNow.) By CHRIS DUNCAN AP Sports Writer Jeremy Lin looked around on the first day of the Houston Rockets' training camp with more hope than expectation. James Harden arrived three weeks later and everything changed. The Rockets are back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Houston will face Oklahoma City, Harden's former team, in the first...

Playoffs bring The Beard back to Oklahoma City

The Beard is back. After getting traded to Houston at the end of training camp, James Harden had a feeling he might be meeting up with his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates when the NBA playoffs rolled around. Sure enough, his Rockets will open the postseason Sunday night at Oklahoma City. Harden spent his first few years in the league building friendships with Kevin Durant...

Storylines to watch in the Western Conference first round

The NBA postseason kicks off on Saturday. If you are like me, you are really looking forward to watching the Western Conference playoffs unfold. The talented teams run 1-8, and we are in for some pretty intense battles, even in the first round. Heading into the weekend, there’s a few interesting storylines to keep an eye on. 1. James Harden returns to OKC The Houston Rockets...

NBA Western Conference Playoffs: First Round Preview

NBA Western Conference Playoff preview: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Houston Rockets: It will be a nice storyline to see James Harden go up against his former team in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. He better say hi and bye quickly because this series won’t last too long. The Thunder took 2 of 3 from Houston this year and won those games by a combined 52 points. Russell Westbrook...

In The Scrum With Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas talked about the biggest adjustment during his rookie season in the NBA, respect being earned, how he plans to grow as a player this summer and how important it is to make his teammates better.

Raptors 'Quickly Rebuffed' Valanciunas For Harden Trade Inquiry From Thunder

The Thunder spoke to the Raptors about a trade centered on James Harden for Jonas Valanciunas.

5 things to watch in the NBA's first round

Five things to watch in the first round of the NBA playoffs, which begin Saturday: GAME 3 IN BOSTON: April 26, 8 p.m., Knicks at Celtics. You won't want to be one second late for the start of that telecast on ESPN, because if the scene at the first Bruins game since the Boston Marathon explosions was any indicator, then the emotions that pour out from the stands in the Celtics...

In The Scrum With Dwane Casey

Dwane Casey addressed how Toronto’s rough start ultimately doomed the entire season, how Kyle Lowry has grown this season, and what Jonas Valanciunas’ summer will entail. Click here to download this MP3. sr_adspace_id = 1000001551307; sr_adspace_width = 728; sr_adspace_height = 90; [...]
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