NBA star guard James Harden is making it clear he has no interest in rejoining the Philadelphia 76ers following reported trade talks ending days ago. During an Adidas press event in China on Monday, he bluntly expressed his distaste for Philadelphia’s President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey. When asked by a member of the audience how to felt about the team claiming to end trade talks and seeking to bring him onboard, he claimed cynically, “Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”
Per ESPN’s reports on Saturday, the Sixers were pursuing an end to trade talks, despite Harden’s stated desire to be traded months prior. Now it appears these thoughts have been solidified by the star guard. With tension rising, it remains to be seen what comes next for this high-profile situation between Harden and the Sixers.
The Philadelphia 76ers had a vision—they were hoping that adding reigning MVP James Harden to their team, alongside Joel Embiid, would finally get them to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001. But it wasn’t meant to be; instead, they bowed out of the Eastern Conference semifinals for two consecutive seasons, including last year’s 4-3 defeat after leading the series 3-2.
Despite Harden’s slightly decreased production due to playing alongside Kevin Durant in Brooklyn and now Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, his career statistics remain impressive. In each of the past three seasons since leaving the Rockets, he has averaged more than 20 points and 10 assists per game; last year his 10.7 assists per game led the entire league.
He even managed to best his 3-point shooting record from as far back as 2011-12—back when he was playing for an upcoming Oklahoma City trio featuring future MVPs in himself, Durant and Russell Westbrook. With such a strong legacy behind him, fans are no doubt hoping that this is the season that the 76ers finally break through and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals with Harden leading the charge.
Will the Philadelphia 76ers make a move for former Rockets star James Harden? According to recent reports, the 76ers are weighing their options on whether a trade involving Harden is something that would benefit their pursuit of a championship this year. Despite Harden’s desire to be traded, the Sixers are feeling cautious and won’t compromise their title hopes for one player.
Harden, who has a $35.6 million contract option on the table, opted in for next season instead of taking the risk of free agency. Holding all the cards, the Sixers were set to offer Harden an incredible $210 million, four-year deal that no other team could match.
If a trade should come to fruition, it will be the third time in his career that Harden has been traded. Fans are eager to see if the 76ers can bring him onboard and shake things up as they look for their first NBA championship in thirty years.