While recent reports claim that James Harden will not be traded and is expected to be in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform this season, the future Hall-of-Famer rebuked that notion on Monday morning with a fiery public statement on the latest news.
This has been another awkward summer in the career of NBA great James Harden. The 33-year-old is not happy with his current home — shocker — and is again trying to force his way out of town. However, unlike in years past where he was locked into multiple seasons in a contract, he actually had the chance to leave in NBA free agency last month but instead chose to opt into the final year of his deal with the Philadelphia 76ers and then immediately request a trade from the team’s front office.
Yet, Harden and 76ers General Manager Daryl Morey have been here before when he was overseeing the Houston Rockets and the star guard forced his way off the roster three years ago. That past may be why the veteran executive is not going to rush into any trade to satisfy Harden’s request. Well, it seems that previous history is also having a major effect on Harden’s current stance as well.
Following a report on Saturday that the Sixers ended discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers and expect him to be on the roster for the upcoming season, The Athletic NBA insider Shams Charania posted a video on X of Harden speaking at an Addidas event in China and the 10-time All-Star came out firing as he made some stunning comments about his current position and the Sixer GM.
James Harden stats (’22-’23): 21.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 10.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 39% 3PT
“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.”– James Harden
Despite what was reported this past weekend, it seems like Harden has no intention of showing up for the Philadelphia 76ers training camp in October and has now escalated the situation by offering up a him or me strategy when it comes to his future with the organization.
What has made trading him difficult thus far is rumors he only wants to be traded to the Clippers. Which severely limits the return options for the team in a trade. The situation reportedly all came to a head this summer when Morey and the front office had little contact with him despite an important opt-out clause looming in July.
Furthermore, Harden also took a contract at a discount rate last summer to be on the team this past season and was likely expecting to opt out and receive a pay increase to stay in Philadelphia.