James Harden Willing to Sit Out to Force Trade

13 August, 2023

Harden, who will be 34 years old this season, has a history of finding methods to gain leverage in trade negotiations. Harden arrived at training camp with the Houston Rockets in 2021 late and was obviously out of condition. He continued to miss workouts, argue with teammates, and didn’t appear to be playing his best basketball for Houston.

The Rockets eventually gave in to Harden’s demand for a trade and sent him to the Brooklyn Nets. The All-Star guard missed games due to a hamstring injury the next season before Brooklyn complied with his request and dealt him to the 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons and draft picks.

James Harden’s 2022–2023 statistics are as follows: 21 PPG, 10.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 3.4 TPG, 44.1% FG

Harden has now asked for a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers after only 79 combined games with the 76ers. Philadelphia and Los Angeles and other interested teams talked about the specifics of a deal, but they were never able to agree on a price.

The 76ers made the decision to halt all Harden trade discussions on Saturday as a result. Instead, Philadelphia is asking that he attend training camp in the hopes that his teammates will persuade him to complete the remaining portion of his contract.

That strategy, though, might not be successful for Philadelphia. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Harden “no longer wants to play for Philadelphia” and won’t be attending training camp. Additionally, Harden’s camp isn’t dismissing the notion of staging a “messy spectacle” or skipping games.

“Does that mean he won’t report if a deal doesn’t go down by that point, or that he’ll make a messy spectacle of his training camp arrival like he did when he was trying to get out of Houston back in December of 2020? That part remains unclear, with Harden’s side still expressing a belief that there will be meaningful developments on the trade talk front before that time comes. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.”
Sam Amick on Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden

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