A bomb fell 25 hours before the start of the NBA’s free agency period. On Thursday afternoon, multiple reports indicated that James Harden would choose the player option in his contract for the 2023-24 season and then work with the Philadelphia 76ers to find a potential trade. Almost immediately, it became clear that the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks are among the teams interested in signing the former league MVP.
It’s quite a change of direction for the Sixers, at least, as reports indicated the team wanted to bring back the player they acquired at the 2022 NBA trade deadline. to leave, and according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, there’s a pretty simple reason for that.
“The 76ers have made it clear throughout the process that the franchise does not see a long-term future with Harden, sources said,” according to Charania.
Harden, who turns 34 this offseason, was eligible to sign a 4-year, $213 million extension with the Sixers this summer. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said “it was unlikely they would make such a solid commitment to him”. Harden spoke during the season about sacrificing his role and his money to help Philly build their roster last year.