Is Joel Embiid still trusting the process?
As discussions continue between James Harden and the 76ers regarding his future with the team, Joel Embiid, his teammate and fellow MVP winner, shared his thoughts on Harden’s reported interest in playing elsewhere.
The Sixers acquired Harden in February 2022, but tensions have risen between him and the team’s management since he failed to secure a contract extension as a 14-year veteran. On June 29, Harden requested a trade after exercising his player option for the 2023-24 season, with reports suggesting the Clippers as his preferred destination.
In an interview with Rachel Nichols on Showtime, Embiid expressed his disappointment upon learning about Harden’s desire to leave Philadelphia but acknowledged that it is ultimately a business decision.
Spoke to Joel Embiid about James Harden’s trade request – Embiid said he’s hopeful Harden’s “mindset can be changed.” The two were partying with @MichaelRubin last night at the @Fanatics/@TheNBPA Summer League blowout. pic.twitter.com/9sKwp3HGsg
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) July 10, 2023
While he hopes for Harden’s return, Embiid emphasized their shared goal of winning a championship and appreciated how Harden has handled the situation. He also reassured that their friendship will remain intact regardless of the outcome.
“We’re going [to] be boys forever, want him to come back obviously, so we can go out and accomplish what we want which is to win a champion, so hopefully his mindset can be changed,” Embiid said.
Embiid’s statement reflects his unwavering support for his teammate despite the turmoil within the team.
If Embiid’s wish is granted, their on-court partnership could serve as a blueprint for the 76ers to build upon after a successful albeit challenging first season together.