LAS VEGAS — James Harden completed his work at USA Basketball’s national team minicamp, sat in a courtside chair and began to put together his assessment of what happened around the NBA this summer.

He did not need long to formulate his thoughts.

“Nothing that happens in the NBA surprises me anymore,” the league’s MVP and Houston star said.

Summer isn’t over, but in the NBA spending sense, it’s winding down. About $2 billion in deals have been made in the last four weeks, not to mention a few trades. But with the biggest names who were available in free agency staying put for the most part, most of the players who were in Las Vegas for the national team camp this week seemed to agree with Harden.

Not much surprised them.

“The league is definitely shaken up a little bit, but that’s how it is,” Charlotte guard Kemba Walker said. “That’s the name of the game. That’s the business. You’re going to see guys go from team to team. … It’s just forcing everyone to step their games up individually.”

Here’s proof of that: Minicamp was officially over, most players had left to go resume their summers, and a few players – including Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Oklahoma City’s Paul George – were among the last on the floor.

They were in a wild series of one-on-one games against the likes of Golden State’s Kevin Durant, among others. Booker signed a $158 million extension earlier this month, George signed a deal to remain with the Thunder for $136 million. And there they were, trying to beat Durant, just like their teams will be trying to beat Durant’s two-time defending champion team in a few months.

“For the most part the players have kind of dictated the movement across the league,” Booker said. “I think it’s great for the fans. I think it’s great for the league both domestically and internationally. It’s just a lot to follow and keep up with.”

USA Basketball’s two-day minicamp ended Friday, and what’s next for the national team isn’t exactly clear. If all goes well, they’ll be gathering for a camp around this time next year to begin training for the FIBA World Cup in China.

Thing is, the Americans might not know until February if they’ve qualified.

CLIPPERS: Los Angeles waived guard C.J. Williams, who was a two-way player last season.

ROCKETS: Clint Capela signed a five-year, $90 million extension with Houston.

HEAT: When it comes to Dwyane Wade, it’s clear the Heat want him back and they’re willing to be patient while he figures out his plan.

Heat President Pat Riley said that he will have talks with managing general partner Micky Arison in the coming days about Wade’s future. Realistically, there’s only two contract options for Miami to present Wade – the $5.3 million exception, or the $2.4 million veteran minimum. The potential luxury tax implications Miami could face next year would rise in either case, and that’s what the Heat are trying to avoid.


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