Harden: No one can persuade LeBron where to go

The Houston Rockets are expected to pursue LeBron James once free agency starts July 1 and some believe they have a leg-up over the competition due to Chris Paul‘s close relationship with James.

Once the Rockets were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, the New York Times reported Paul had already begun recruiting his pal LeBron to come to Houston and create a lethal big three.

Harden, however, says no one — even Paul — can convince James to sign somewhere.

“Honestly, like, what, LeBron’s about to be in his 16th year in the league?,” Harden told the LA Times. “I don’t think there’s anybody that can persuade him to go where he wants to go. I think it’s all up to him at this place in his career. He’s got three championships. It’s about business, it’s about family for him. Whether he wants to go to Houston or LA or stay in Cleveland, no GM, no friend, nobody can persuade him other than maybe his kids and his wife. Whatever he decides to do, he’ll do it.

“Him and Chris are really tight. As a friend, him and Chris are really good friends. I don’t think they talk about him coming to Houston. I think they talk about basketball and if LeBron wants to say, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about coming your way,’ then that’s a discussion we can have. I don’t think they talk about it.”

If James decides to sign with the Rockets, Houston will have to shed salary cap to give LeBron the max contract he commands. Paul will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and reports claim he wants a max contract as well.