Looks like the Sixers are the ones holding all the cards.
New reports suggest that James Harden may have underestimated the control the Philadelphia 76ers have over his trade demands.
In a recent social media post where he expressed his willingness to get “uncomfortable,” it seems that the Sixers could play a significant role in his future.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, there is a rule in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement that allows the Sixers to prevent Harden from entering free agency if he withholds playing services for more than 30 days.
This means he could be in violation of his contract and unable to sign with any team outside the NBA. Harden has expressed his desire to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, his hometown team.
However, 76ers president Daryl Morey has made it clear that the team will only consider a trade if it brings significant value.
Morey explained during an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic that they would need to receive either a very good player or assets that can be used to acquire a very good player. Morey also mentioned that while they would be thrilled if Harden changed his mind, they have been trying to honor his trade request for now, as he currently prefers to be traded.
“If we don’t get either a very good player or something we can turn into a very good player, then we’re just not going to do it,” Morey told 97.5 The Fanatic. “If James were to turn his mind around, we would all be thrilled. You’ve heard [Joel Embiid’s] comments about that. But at this moment, he prefers to be traded, and we are attempting to honor that.”
This aligns with comments made by Joel Embiid, who has expressed his support for keeping Harden on the team.
Harden needs to go but not on his terms.