Despite some recent reports to the contrary, James Harden very much still wants out of Philadelphia and reportedly has the goal of being traded to one specific team.
This has been a weird few months when it comes to the situation between the Philadelphia 76ers and James Harden. It wasn’t that long when the Sixers were just one win away from knocking off the Boston Celtics and moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals. One has to wonder how different things might be now if the team did not blow that semifinal series lead.
Unfortunately, they were eliminated by the Celtics in seven games, and the relationship between the team and the superstar dissolved quickly after. However, instead of getting his freedom and taking his talents on to the NBA free agent market by exercising his opt-out clause, the future Hall-of-Famer surprisingly opted into the final year of his contract and requested to be moved in a trade to a contending team.
In the weeks since the grand revelation, there hasn’t been much movement toward a James Harden trade. There have certainly been rumors but nothing with real substance. Earlier this week, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported “The signals right now is that he will be back with the Philadelphia 76ers.” However, there is now a counter-report to that news.
James Harden ‘determined’ to be traded to Los Angeles Clippers
On Thursday, The Athletic’s NBA insider Sam Amick claimed despite the team’s apparent attempts to hold on to him with a high asking price, “Harden’s stance has not changed. He still wants to leave Philadelphia. He’s still upset with how Morey handled his situation heading into possible free agency last month.”
Along with the 10-time All-Star’s preference to be shipped off again this offseason, Amick revealed that he is “determined” to end up in a Los Angeles Clippers uniform next season.
- James Harden stats (’22-’23): 21.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 10.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 39% 3PT
The Clippers have been linked to a James Harden trade from the start, and reportedly don’t want to move Kawhi Leonard or Paul George in a deal and want to have a swingman “Big Three.” That interest in Harden also may have had some impact on trade talks with the Knicks about Paul George last month.