The Philadelphia 76ers and James Harden are in the midst of a standoff. The ten-time All-Star wants to be traded, but the franchise needs him to stay in contention. Things are only going to get worse and the showdown between Harden and Daryl Morey is just beginning. Oct. 3 is a key date as the Sixers will report to training camp, but will Harden show up?
The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported that Harden does not plan to attend (subscription required), despite the front office ending trade talks. The superstar opted in because the market for his services was not robust, so nobody should expect a blockbuster deal to materialize before camp. The Sixers are not accepting a bad deal, which likely creates a holding pattern.
Harden is in the final year of his contract, so he must report by Nov. 3 or the 76ers can keep him becoming a free agent in the 2024 offseason. Still, Harden can hold out for 30 days. He will be fined, but what should the franchise do if that becomes reality?
Things the Philadelphia 76ers must immediately do if James Harden doesn’t report to camp
5. Remain patient
The Sixers have the leverage in this situation, and Harden not reporting may be the best-case scenario. Ask Rockets fans about the ten-time All-Star showing up after requesting a trade. That did not end well for the team and why would Harden be more motivated during this training camp?
He will have to show up before Philadelphia plays their fifth regular season game, and Harden should be motivated. Part of his disdain comes from not receiving the contract offer he wanted. He isn’t getting it unless he plays like a superstar this season. Even the team that trades for him cannot extend him, so Harden’s best bet is playing lights out and proving he is worth a massive contract.
The Philadelphia 76ers must remain patient with James Harden, but the front office should be active.