Harden, who has demanded a trade, publicly called Sixers team president Daryl Morey a “liar” during an appearance in China. Harden is upset that Philadelphia didn’t offer him a lucrative long-term deal and hasn’t subsequently granted his trade request.
“Somebody said to me yesterday, ‘This is only the beginning. This is just the beginning of what James Harden is going to do to make life very uncomfortable for the Philadelphia 76ers going into training camp,'” Shelburne said.
We have more on the Harden-Sixers drama:
- On the same show, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that Harden’s strategy could very well backfire (Twitter link): “This is a player who wants to continue to play in the NBA, who wants to continue to earn at a high level,” he said. “You don’t help yourself elsewhere in the future getting out of a situation this way.”
- Joel Embiid has removed references to his affiliation with the Sixers on his social media accounts, ESPN’s Get Up program noted (Twitter link). The Sixers’ biggest concern is that the saga with Harden will lead to an Embiid trade demand.
- An ugly divorce between Harden and Morey almost had an air of inevitability, Robby Kalland of Uproxx writes. Harden still sees himself as the player he once was, deserving of a full max contract. Meanwhile, Morey is a team president incapable of overlooking the signs of decline and potential red flags due to his cold, analytical nature.
- It may seem like a long shot now but Harden’s return appears to be the best option for everyone involved, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer writes.