Skip to main content

Surprising update on James Harden’s future with the Philadelphia 76ers

When former NBA MVP James Harden opted into his contract for next season with the Philadelphia 76ers and seemingly requested a trade, it seemed as if he’d be playing in another NBA city next season.

Fast forward several weeks and Harden remains in Philadelphia as blockbuster NBA trades shake up the Association.

There could be a good reason for this. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported Tuesday (h/t the Dan Patrick Show) that Harden is more likely to be back with the 76ers next season than he is to receive a trade.

“I was speaking to a bunch of folks about this Sunday evening. The signals right now is that he will be back with the Philadelphia 76ers,” report on James Harden situation.

This is surprising for a number of different reasons. First off, today’s environment around the NBA usually favors star players who request trades. Bradley Beal’s request before he was sent from the Washington Wizards to the Phoenix Suns earlier in the summer is the most-recent example of this. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant before that, too.

Heck, we’re seeing this play out in real time as it relates to Damian Lillard’s situation with the Portland Trail Blazers.

As for Harden and the 76ers, it does seem as if Philadelphia front office head Daryl Morey is taking a hardline approach in trade talks with other teams.

“There have been strong rumblings out of Philadelphia that if the Sixers don’t get the kind of offer they are looking for in a James Harden deal they are comfortable playing out next season with him on the roster,” Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported recently.

Related: James Harden and the NBA’s top-50 players of 2023

James Harden stats (2022-23): 21.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 10.7 APG, 44% shooting, 39% 3-point

james harden trade
Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Harden, 33, surprisingly opted into his $35.64 million contract for next season. The move had to catch Philadelphia by surprise, especially when he turned around and requested a trade behind the scenes.

The Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in a tricky situation as they navigate through the remainder of the summer. They have been linked to the aforementioned Lillard in NBA trade rumors over the past couple weeks. Meanwhile, Philadelphia had recent talks to acquire an All-Star wing from a conference rival.

If that weren’t enough, high-priced forward Tobias Harris is said to be on the trade market. All of this come after Philadelphia fell to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals this past spring.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: