4. The Sixers start to the season will be key to the urgency of the James Harden trade
One of the biggest storylines around the NBA is the James Harden saga. As a 10-time All Star, 3-time Scoring Champion, and the 2017-2018 Most Valuable Player, James Harden is a bonafide star in this league. The story surrounding James Harden and the relationship that he has with the 76ers organization has not only been major news in Philadelphia, but across the basketball world. Every major sporting news outlet will be paying close attention to James Harden until his trade request is granted.
How well the Sixers start this season will play a huge factor in how much continued attention James Harden receives from the major news outlets. The more W’s they are able to put in the win column without James Harden, the less urgent trading him becomes. However, if they quickly stack up more losses than wins, the storylines will read that the 76ers must move Harden quickly.
Daryl Morey has proven to be patient in handling the trade requests of All-Star players. Just a couple off-seasons ago, the Sixers had a similar situation on their hands with Ben Simmons. Although Simmons did not play at all for the Sixers during then 2021-2022 campaign, Morey was patient and did not trade Simmons until the day of the NBA trade deadline in February of 2022.
One key contributor that allowed Morey to be patient and get the deal that he wanted was how well the Sixers were performing without Simmons on the floor. The post-Ben Simmons, pre-James Harden Sixers of 2021-2022 were sitting at 12 games over .500 before Harden made his debut with the team. As it relates to this season, if the Sixers play well, this thing could drag out for weeks or months into the season. If the Sixers don’t play well, look for the national storylines to push for a James Harden deal getting done sooner rather than later.