James Harden Trade Saga Receives New Updates

News that James Harden will opt into his $35.6 million player option with the goal of being traded from the Sixers rocked the NBA world on Thursday.

Many fans and insiders alike believed Harden would stay on in Philly and keep building to a championship beside Joel Embiid.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added to the drama by saying, “It’s expected that Harden has played his last game for Philadelphia.”

However, Paul Hudrick of Liberty Ballers has said claims like this are jumping the gun.

“Now, it appears Harden is keeping his options open to play for a contender — whether that’s in Philadelphia or elsewhere,” Hudrick says. “Because of league tampering rules, the Sixers were not allowed to engage Harden until he opted in or free agency began. The idea that Harden has definitely played his last game in Philly appears premature, per a league source. The Sixers will look into potential trades, but the team will only strike a deal that makes sense.

“Opting in makes Harden eligible to be traded immediately, meaning a Harden suitor that perhaps didn’t have the space and didn’t want to hard cap themselves with a sign-and-trade would have an easier time acquiring him.”

Landing spots that have been suggested for the guard include the Heat, Suns and Clippers – with the latter being his preferred option, The Athletic’s Sam Amick reports.

“According to sources directly involved in the situation on both sides, the Los Angeles native wants to play for the Clippers and the Sixers are already in the process of discussing his desired move,” Amick wrote. “Harden is, according to sources close to him, extremely upset at the way in which the Sixers handled his possible free agency and has made his dissatisfaction clear to the organization.”

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Of course, 76ers president of basketball operations and someone ‘The Beard’ is reportedly quite close with, Daryl Morey, will need to approve of the request.

“Sources say, however, that there is strong optimism on Harden’s side that it will indeed happen,” Amick says.”Both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are said to be on board with the idea of Harden potentially joining their core, according to sources.”

Watch this space.