On Friday, Marc Spears of The Undefeated reported Harden and Paul are slated to play against Russell Westbrook, who competes with the Home Town Favorites in the Los Angeles-based Pro-Am summer competition.
Houston acquired Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers in late June for a large package highlighted by Patrick Beverley and a first-round draft pick.
Although Sunday’s Drew League contest will mark the first organized game for the new teammates, they have taken part in some pickup action, per You Ball Training:
Some observers have questioned how two top-tier players who both prefer to operate as the primary ball-handler will work alongside each other, but the guards aren’t worried.
Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle passed along comments from Harden earlier in the month about a workout with Paul in Las Vegas.
“It wasn’t point guard and shooting guard,” he said, adding the focus was “two guys always trying to make the best play.”
Meanwhile, the longtime Clippers point guard noted there will likely be a transition period, but he told reporters he doesn’t foresee any long-term issues.
“It’s definitely going to be an adjustment, but I’m excited about it,” Paul said. “I’m truly excited about it. That’s the coach’s problem over here, to figure that out. I think coach said it: When you want to win, you’ll do whatever it takes. I know James has that; I know I do. Whoever is in our locker room from day one, we’re going to talk about sacrificing and doing whatever you have to do to help us win.”
Playing in the Drew League, which has become a popular summer stop for NBA stars in recent years, will give Harden and Paul a chance to start building a connection before training camp gets underway in a couple of months.
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