The Philadelphia 76ers acquired James Harden last season in a pretty massive trade that sent Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets.
At the time, many considered bartering as either a win-win or a losing streak.
People in the latter camp thought Harden had been washed up and Simmons was a hoodie, meaning neither team would benefit from the deal. People on the previous set felt that both men were demanding the trade anyway, so the fact that Philly and Brooklyn showed up with the stars after imposing their hand was a win in itself.
One of the key elements that must be fulfilled for this “win-win” camp to be true is that Harden stays with Philly. He has a player option in 2022-23 and is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
During a recent podcast on The Void, NBA insider Kevin O’Connor revealed the Sixers’ plan for Harden going forward.
“I was told the property wanted him to opt for a $46.9 million deal for the 22-23 season, which isn’t surprising,” O’Connor said. “Morri told me he wanted this to be a three-year deal.”
Harden came to Philadelphia with a lot of hype, but ultimately proved to be very disappointing alongside Joel Embiid’s MVP-caliber play. He averaged just 18.6 points per playoff game – his lowest mark in a decade. Furthermore, he seemed lethargic, disinterested, and poorly conditioned.
Off the field, Harden appeared to clash with coach Doc Rivers frequently and wasn’t exactly the best influence on his young teammates.
It’s also hard to ignore that, no matter where he goes, by the time he leaves all the people around him seeming to hate him.
Harden has until June 29 to choose his player option for next year.
At this point, his return to Philly for 2022-23 is a foregone conclusion.
A-Rod and his girl continue to admire. https://t.co/E1YjgvqQMk
– Game 7 (@game7__) June 21 2022
What will happen next? In particular if the Sixers are disappointing again next season?
This will be something to watch.
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