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James Harden: Philadelphia 76ers’ relationship can’t be repaired

The Philadelphia 76ers are less than two weeks away from the start of their regular season opener on Oct. 26 against the new-and-improved Milwaukee Bucks. While the 76ers have already played two preseason contests, James Harden sat out of each game, which both resulted in losses.

It’s no secret that Harden no longer wants to play for the 76ers. Maybe it’s due to a deadening relationship with Daryl Morey, the president of basketball operations for the 76ers, or maybe Harden just wants another change of scenery.

But he continues to suggest it’s the former. Those issues carried into Friday, when Harden met with reporters, commenting on his chemistry with Morey. Harden was asked if he felt his relationship with Morey and the 76ers could be repaired, here was his answer.

“No. This is in life. When you lose trust in someone, it’s like a marriage. … I wanted to retire a Sixer. And the front office didn’t have that in their future plans.”

James Harden on losing trust in Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers

Here was Harden’s response, in video format.

The issue likely stems from the 76ers not being willing to offer Harden a long-term extension. Instead, the seven-time All-NBA guard is set to play on his $35.6 million player option, which Harden exercised this past offseason. He could have simply opted out and found a new team, but salary cap limitations left him with a shrunken market and no one to offer top dollar.

Right now the 76ers reportedly view trading Harden as a move that would be ‘too reckless.’ Yet, the front office also reportedly wants an All-Star return in exchange for parting with the 34-year-old three-time scoring champ.

In other words, it could be a while before the 76ers reach a resolution with Joel Embiid’s sidekick.

Related: NBA MVP race 2023-24: Is James Harden still an MVP candidate?

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