Just days after it was reported that the Philadelphia 76ers wouldn’t be trading James Harden and plan to go into camp with him on the roster, Harden issued a strong message towards the organization.
Harden called president of basketball operations Daryl Morey a “liar” and said that he will “never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”
Harden appears to be putting the full court press on the Sixers to trade him this offseason after he opted into the final season of his contract.
The former league MVP is no stranger to requesting trades, as he’s forced his way out of Houston and Brooklyn in recent seasons.
These public comments put the Sixers in a tough spot, as they may not be able to get as much for Harden in a trade if he is refusing to play for the team.
Despite that, Philly’s odds to win the NBA Finals have remain unchanged in the wake of the star guard’s comments about Morey.
Philadelphia 76ers odds to win the NBA Finals
The Sixers are +1700 to win the NBA Finals, and they likely wouldn’t dip much below that if they move Harden since Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey are still a part of the roster.
Philly acquired Harden during the 2021-22 season in a deal that sent guard Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets. With Simmons playing very little – and playing poorly – since the trade, Philly looked to make out well in the move.
However, Harden decided to opt into the final year of his contract this offseason with the intent of seeking a trade. While at first it seemed like Philly was willing to accommodate that, the Sixers have pivoted since.
The Los Angeles Clippers have been rumored as the most likely team to acquire Harden, and they could match contracts in a deal with him by moving several of their higher-paid role players.
Last season, Harden averaged 21.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 10.7 assists per game while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from beyond the arc.
While he’s not playing at the same level as he did in Houston when he won a league MVP, Harden is still a highly effective player. If the Clippers do acquire him, it’ll likely boost the team’s odds to win it all in the 2023-24 season.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.