Where will James Harden end up this offseason?
James Harden opted into his $35.6 million deal with Philadelphia Thursday, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, with the sole purpose of finding a trade partner.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski further added that two playoff teams from last year are among the many suitors ready to pounce on Harden. Those teams are the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks.
Even though the Houston Rockets had long been rumored as a potential landing spot for Harden, The Athletic’s Sam Amick noted they decided in recent weeks not to pursue him. The Phoenix Suns took themselves out of the Harden market when they acquired Bradley Beal in a three-team trade.
In his first full season with the Sixers in 2022-23, Harden led the NBA with 10.7 assists per game and averaged 21.0 points.
The 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs with a second-round loss to the Boston Celtics in seven games. Harden scored less than 20 points in five of the seven games against the Celtics, including him scoring just nine points in Game 7. His inconsistency in the playoffs has been a staple of his career.
Any deal for Harden is unlikely to be straight-up, with the 76ers likely having to give up an additional asset to push any trade through.
Now, it’s back to the drawing board for the 76ers who are trying to find the right mix to pair with league MVP Joel Embiid in his prime.
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