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Harden’s pending free agency, new rising stars format & another Grayson Allen highlight

Grayson Allen doing Grayson Allen things

Twenty-six year old Grayson Allen has only been in the league for four years but he has built quite the reputation for himself.

Probably because it goes back as far as his time at Duke University, at the least.

From tripping opponents to hard hip checks, these variety of events have earned him the reputation of being a “dirty player.”

Fast forward to Friday, Jan. 21, with less than six minutes left in the third quarter with Milwaukee up a point on Chicago, Allen laid a hard foul on guard Alex Caruso.

Upon several reviews, it appeared Allen’s arm got tangled with both of Caruso’s as he attempted to make a play on the ball.

Caruso fell awkwardly, landing on an open rib cage with a loud smack upon impact before laying there flexing his right hand.

Later, it was revealed that Caruso broke his right wrist.

Immediately after the foul, flashbacks must’ve flashed for everyone in the building as a collective groan was let out as Caruso made contact with the hardwood at the Fiserv Forum.

It must’ve flashed for league officials as well because Allen was suspended for a game for the action two days later.

Harden to get first unrestricted taste at free agency

Brooklyn guard James Harden has never had the luxury of being an unrestricted free agent. This summer, he may be set on getting his chance.

Harden has never tasted free agency as an unrestricted free agent only as a restricted free agent while with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

As it stands, he has a player option for 2022-23 worth $47.4 million that he has yet to opt-into along with not signing an extension with the Nets.

With two-time NBA champion forward Kevin Durant nursing a knee injury and NBA Champion guard Kyrie Irving still participating as a part-time player, Harden has been left to lead Brooklyn in a crowded top of the Eastern Conference.

The 13-year veteran will garner a five-year deal worth in the range of $270 million.

New Rising Stars format

When the league created the G League Ignite team, most understood it would change the basketball landscape.

That change has now made it to All-Star Weekend.

There will be no more Team USA vs. Team World. The event won’t even be reverting back to Rookies vs. Sophomores.

Now, there will be four seven-player teams set to compete in a mini-tournament. Team A will play Team B in the first semifinal while Team C will play Team D in the second.

Winners will play in the “championship” game.

The player pool will consist of 12 first-year players, 12 second-year players and four players from the G League Ignite team.

The game will take place Friday, Feb. 18 from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to open All-Star Weekend.

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