It’s deja vu in Philly.
A team source confirmed this in a situation reminiscent of the Ben Simmons saga two seasons ago the athlete The Sixers have decided to end trade talks with disgruntled superstar James Harden and are now planning him into training camp late next month. However, as Daryl Morey, President of Basketball Operations for the Sixers is well aware, the prospect of mending this fractured relationship between Harden and the organization he no longer wants to play for is not so simple.
Not even close.
Whatever signals the Sixers may be sending when it comes to trade talks, a source close to Harden has confirmed that the 10-time All-Star and former MVP no longer wants to play for Philadelphia and has no plans to participate in training camp. Does that mean he won’t report if the deal doesn’t end at this point, or will he make a messy scene of his training camp arrival like he did when trying to get out of Houston back in December of 2020? That part is still not clear, as Harden’s side still expresses a belief that there will be meaningful developments on the trade talks front before that time comes. The source spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
At least, that’s pretty clear: Trade talks between Philadelphia and his favorite team, the Clippers, have clearly stagnated this summer. There’s no need for the Sixers to make a public announcement like this if that’s not the case. But as always, there is a human element here that will make the next seven weeks worth watching.
From the aforementioned Rockets exit to the ensuing Brooklyn bailout, the team that refused to grant Harden’s trade wishes learned the hard way that he’s pretty good at staring contests. His resentment has manifested itself in many forms over the past few years — most famously with his partisan tour through Las Vegas and Atlanta before finally joining the Rockets’ training camp — and Harden has yet to comply when the team tries to convince him to reverse course. At the request of the trade. The irony in the context of Simmons, of course, is that Morey showed his penchant for stubbornness in that nearly six-month stint before he was traded to the Nets for Harden in February of 2021.
like the athlete Reported in mid-JulyRival executives had long been convinced that Morey was trying to keep Harden in Philadelphia. Harden asked in late June, when his anger at how Morey handled his potential free agency led him to pick a player option for next season (worth $35.6 million) while requesting a trade at the same time.
As did Maury he said publicly, they are fully aware of the need to keep the All-Star talent around big man Joel Embiid, and as a result, they refuse to strike a deal that leaves the best player in a worse position to fight for the title. And make no mistake, Embiid’s comments in mid-July hinting at his possible departure someday kind of underlined this sobering fact.
However, with Harden’s free agency now looming in the summer of 2024, he’s clearly hoping he gets his wish before campers arrive. Even if the Sixers say it doesn’t happen.
ESPN first reported the news of the Sixers ending trade talks on Harden.
(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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