Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden demanded a trade early this summer and then publicly called out president of basketball operations Daryl Morey. Now, the team with the most interest in acquiring the All-Star guard is reportedly no longer interested.
Harden exercised his $35.6 million player option for the 2023-’24 season and requested a trade in June. Philadephia preferred to keep him, but Morey explored the club’s options by shopping the former NBA MVP around the league.
- James Harden stats (2022-’23): 21 PPG, 10.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 44.1% FG, .188 WS/48
While the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers were quickly mentioned as suitors, New York dropped out quickly. With the 76ers reportedly setting a massive asking price, it appears Morey might’ve left Harden with limited options as training camp approaches.
During an Appearance on ESPN’s The Hoop Collective, NBA insider Brian Windhorst shared that he’s heard from around the league that the Clippers broke off trade talks for Harden this summer and moved on completely.
“From what I understand, it was the Clippers who said, ‘okay, there’s no deal here. We’re going to move on.”Brian Windhorst on Los Angeles Clippers breaking off trade talks for James Harden
Harden’s desire to play for Los Angeles, teaming up with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, is well-known. Both Clippers’ starts also expressed an interest in creating a “Big Three” with the star point guard, hoping it gives Los Angeles a path to a championship.
Yet, the 76ers’ asking price made acquiring Harden practically impossible. From the beginning, Morey has insisted on receiving a return for Harden that would still allow the 76ers to compete for a spot in the NBA Finals right away.
- James Harden contract: $35.6 million salary (2023-’24), 2024 NBA free agent
As training camp approaches, Harden’s situation with Morey and the 76ers’ organization will be put back under the spotlight. Unlike Damian Lillard, who is one step closer to getting what he wants, Harden could cause problems at practice or stay away from the team entirely.
With the Clippers seemingly no longer interested and Joel Embiid siding with Morey, it appears Harden will either have to play for the 76ers or sit out and risk not becoming a free agent in 2024.