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Starting 5 | James Harden is Texas Forever

Houston Rockets guard James Harden smiles at coach Mike D'Antoni after passing the ball to a teammate for a basket against the Denver Nuggets late in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, in Denver. The Rockets won 128-110. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet

1. James Harden says he’ll be in Houston ‘forever’ – Tim MacMahon, ESPN

In an era where player movement in the NBA is more of a topic of discussion than ever, a player saying he’s sticking with a franchise for life is becoming increasingly rare. But if you’re Harden and just signed the richest contract in league history, why wouldn’t you want to stick around? Harden discusses his motivations for re-upping with the Rockets and his new partnership with Chris Paul. With their all-star backcourt in place, and the widely discussed pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, we’ll see how close to the Golden State juggernaut these Rockets now are.

2. Rockets GM thinks Chris Paul, James Harden are smartest, most complementary teammates ever – Ben Rohrbach, Ball Don’t Lie

Speaking of the new-look Rockets, GM Daryl Morey was very effusive in his press conference over the weekend about how well his new backcourt should play together. Rohrbach tweaks Morey slightly here, mentioning many of the great duos throughout history (and the present; Curry and Durant, anyone?), and how they could have a better claim to the smartest and most complementary title. The complementary comment certainly seems like a strange tact for Morey to take, as how two heavily ball-dominant players like Paul and Harden will coexist should make for one of the more interesting things to watch during the upcoming season.

3. Milos Teodosic Speaks: “Clippers Are My Kind of Team” – Milos Jovanovic, Vice Sports

Often described as the best player not in the NBA, talent evaluators will need a new shorthand for Teodosic now that he’s finally made the leap stateside and signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. Fans should gravitate to the new director of Lob City immediately, as the point guard’s dazzling passing displays have been thrilling theatre on the international stage for years. In this interview with Vice, Teodosic discusses why he finally made the move to the NBA and what he expects for the upcoming season.

4. Why Summer League Matters To The Warriors – Jeremy Woo, The Crossover

For a franchise that’s self-purportedly light years ahead like the Warriors, continuing to face the competition with such a large target on your back is a year-round endeavor. The main focus of Woo’s piece is Patrick McCaw, who has had an interesting summer transitioning from playing a smaller, albeit valuable, rotational role in a historic NBA Finals, to being treated as a star in Vegas Summer League. He also discusses Jordan Bell, and how valuing the development of a young player like him over having an extra $3.5 million is precisely the sort of move that helped the Warriors on their road to success. Is anyone paying attention, Chicago?

5. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics’ Rookie Small Forward, is the next … – Nick Birdsong, NBA Math

After a strong Summer League performance, few players have seen the hype train pull out of the station faster than Tatum. Along the lines of the common player evaluation shorthand, “so-and-so is the next …”, Birdsong looks at the metrics and measurables to come up with a handful of guys Tatum’s career could emulate. If he does in fact end up as the next Tracy McGrady, it’s safe to say we’ll hear far less jokes about Danny Ainge not making a trade for Jimmy Butler or Paul George.

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