James Harden’s trade request is still lingering, and the latest update indicates nothing is imminent regarding the former MVP being moved to the Clippers, as L.A. doesn’t want to bid against themselves and aren’t willing to part with a significant haul for Harden on an expiring contract.
As such, Harden is in Sixers training camp and seems ready to go into the season as a member of the team, working out and ramping up ahead of the regular season opener in two weeks. On Friday, Harden sat down with reporters and answered all the questions everyone has about his status with the team, his relationship with Daryl Morey, thoughts on Nick Nurse taking over as coach, and his pending trade request. The star made clear he wanted to be a Sixer long-term, but noted it “wasn’t in the front office’s plans” for that to happen, which has led to what we’ve seen this summer — Harden, who already has been fined $100,000 for a public trade request once, wisely did not confirm he still wanted out but pushed it over to the front office saying it was “out of my control.”
James Harden: “When I got traded here, my whole thing is I wanted to retire a Sixer. I wanted to be here and retire a Sixer. And the front office didn’t have that in their future plans.” pic.twitter.com/YC7NPyoLvK
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) October 13, 2023
Harden conveniently leaves out his push for a max contract that not many teams would likely be putting up for his services, but went on to detail why his relationship with Daryl Morey (who he wouldn’t call by name, but instead just said “front office”) was unsalvageable.
Do you think is something that can be repaired?
Harden: “This is not even about in this situation, this is in life. When you lose trust in someone, it’s like a marriage. You lose trust in someone, you know what I mean? It’s pretty simple.” pic.twitter.com/NC3vslbd5T
— PHLY Sixers (@PHLY_Sixers) October 13, 2023
Harden also wanted to make sure it was clear who is issue was with, as he was asked about new coach Nick Nurse and had nothing but praise for the new man in charge of the Sixers on the court, via Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philly.
“Great,” Harden said of Nurse. “Nick is very versatile. He’s a players’ coach. He understands it. I’ve known him a little bit; he was the G League coach in Houston. He’s obviously won a championship. He just sees the game different and I’m a fan of him.”
Harden also said he was planning to “play basketball” this year, so there won’t be any holding out once the season starts from his end. He seems to recognize he has to rebuild his value going into a free agency summer, and the biggest part of doing that is playing and not being too much of a distraction amid a trade request. For the Sixers, that’s about the best they could hope for right now. We’ll see how long that tone lasts, but it buys them time and, just maybe, they could get through this year and just hit next summer with cap space to try and replace him.