James Harden Rumors: 'Word Is' Nets Star 'Is in Good Shape' Amid Injury Recovery

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 27, 2021

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) gestures to a teammate who missed a shot early in Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets star James Harden is reportedly making progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury that hampered him during the team's playoff run and led him to withdraw from Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics.

"The word is that Harden is in good shape, that's the word. He's in good shape," ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Friday on The Hoop Collective podcast.

The Nets' hopes for a championship last season were dashed in part because of injuries suffered by Harden and Kyrie Irving in the playoffs.

Harden, 32, hurt his hamstring one minute into the first quarter of Game 1 against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He attempted to play through it in the final three games of the series, but he shot 30.6 percent from the field in those matchups.

A healthy Nets team is as good as any club in the NBA. Harden, Irving and Kevin Durant are arguably the most dominant trio in the league right now. They are surrounded by a bevy of excellent shooters, including Patty Mills, Joe Harris and rookie Cameron Thomas.

After being acquired by the Nets in January 2021, Harden averaged 24.6 points and 10.9 assists per game in 36 appearances during the regular season.

Brooklyn is scheduled to open the 2021-22 campaign Oct. 19 when it visits Milwaukee.