The Philadelphia 76ers have had a rocky offseason dominated by trade rumors surrounding point guard James Harden, who requested a trade in June and called Sixers owner Daryl Morey a liar during a trip to China in August.
The Sixers locked in on the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks in their attempt to trade Harden.
“(After the China outburst), Morey left Harden alone,” Shelburne wrote. “He said he would make a good faith effort to trade Harden and had initial conversations, league sources said, with Harden’s preferred team, the Clippers, as well as the New York Knicks.”
Morey and Harden once had a strong working relationship, but money got in the way like many failed partnerships.
Harden came to Philly thinking he would be compensated the same way he was in Houston. After his first season with the Sixers, Harden declined a player option and took $14 million less so the team could sign forward P.J. Tucker.
The move was sold to Harden as a sacrifice to improve the team, and Harden knew the Sixers were still evaluating him after the mid-season trade that brought him to Philadelphia.
However, the Sixers were slow to offer him any deal, and Harden had little leverage as a potential return to the Houston Rockets broke down after they hired former Celtics Coach Ime Udoka. So, instead of waiting for Morey to offer him a deal, Harden signed the player option and requested a trade.
Three months later, the Sixers are still looking for a trade partner, and Harden is still looking to leave Philadelphia, and it’s anyone’s guess how the story will end.
RELATED CONTENT: 76ers Stars PJ Tucker, Tobias Harris, and Hoops Legend Julius Erving Attend the Sixers Youth Foundation Gala
Source: Black Enterprise