After calling Philadelhpia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey a “liar”, All-Star guard James Harden made it clear that he doesn’t intend to play in Philadelphia again.
In fact, when asked by a reporter in Houston on Thursday if he thought his relationship with the 76ers was beyond repair, Harden was quick with an answer.
“I think so.”
Harden has asked to be traded, but the 76ers ended trade talks involving Harden over the weekend after conversations with the Los Angeles Clippers were not fruitful, ESPN reported.
“I’ve been patient all summer,” Harden said. “For me, it’s just focus on what I can control, working out and staying in shape and getting ready for this season.”
Where that season will be played remains the question.
On Monday, Harden lashed out at Morey during an event in China with Adidas.
“Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said then. “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.”
Harden, a six-time first-team All-NBA player acquired twice by Morey, maintains his preference is to play elsewhere. But the 76ers informed Harden’s representatives that they were expecting him to report to the team for training camp next month.
Harden agreed to pick up his $35.6 million player option in June to help facilitate a trade. Teammate Joel Embiid, the reigning league MVP, said he remains hopeful Harden will be a part of the 2023-24 team.
Barring a trade, ESPN reported Harden was expecting a maximum level contract extension with the 76ers.
Morey was general manager of the Rockets when Houston engineered a 2012 trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder to acquire Harden. He spent more than eight seasons with the franchise and won NBA MVP.
Morey, who later moved on to Philadelphia, acquired Harden a second time in 2022, a trade that sent the guard to Philadelphia and Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets.
Harden, who turns 34 on August26, averaged 21.0 points, a league-leading 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds in 58 games this past season.
He owns career averages of 24.7 points, 7.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds in 1,000 games (786 starts) with the Thunder, Rockets, Brooklyn Nets and 76ers.
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