James Harden Clarifies ‘Liar’ Comments Directed at Sixers Exec Daryl Morey

James Harden

Getty James Harden

James Harden caused a stir when a video of him calling Philadelphia 76ers‘ President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey a liar, among other things, went viral on August 14. As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, Harden’s comments spurred an investigation by the league to see if the Sixers or Harden broke the rules.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed what Harden told the NBA when they looked into his comments.

“As part of NBA probe into his “liar” comment, James Harden told league investigators he was referring to Daryl Morey telling Harden he will trade him ‘quickly’ following the $35.6 million opt in for 2023-24, per sources. The 76ers’ stance now is they expect to keep Harden,” Charania wrote via his personal Twitter on August 21.

In Wojnarowski’s and Shelburne’s report, they said that Harden called Morey a liar for going back on his promise to trade him after opting in, neither he nor the Sixers would be subject to any form of discipline from the league.

“Harden has privately indicated that his public comments calling Morey a “liar” on Monday morning had only been a response to Morey ending trade discussions with an expectation that Harden would start the season with the Sixers, sources said.

“Neither the Sixers nor Harden would be in violation of any league guidelines should that be communicated to league officials.”

Daryl Morey Holding Out for Draft Compensation: Insider

While the Sixers and Los Angeles Clippers have yet to come to an agreement on a James Harden trade, Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill reported why Morey has not agreed to what the Clippers are offering for Harden.

“League sources told Yahoo Sports contrary to popular belief, Morey isn’t stuck on receiving Clippers guard Terance Mann back in a Harden deal, but is coveting future first-round draft picks with the so-called “Seven Year Rule” in effect,” Goodwill wrote.

Goodwill added why Morey is going this route with trade discussions.

“The Clippers’ first-round picks for the next few years are owed to Oklahoma City outright or subject to a swap due to the Paul George deal in 2019, but the Clippers own their picks in 2027 and ’28.”

Insider Reports What Daryl Morey Would Do With Picks

On August 21, NBA Insider Marc Stein added to Goodwill’s report, explaining on his Substack what Morey would do if the Clippers agreed to his demands of sending the Sixers more first-round picks.

“If the Sixers ultimately trade Harden for a draft pick-heavy package, my belief is that they would be doing so with the intent to flip those picks in a subsequent deal for a top-level player — not because they suddenly covet draft picks,” Stein wrote.

Should the Clippers send the Sixers that package, Stein added why he doesn’t believe Morey wants to go through a rebuild.

“I don’t believe Morey secretly wants to pursue a ‘rebuilding’ course, as has been suggested in recent days because he never has before. It would be a complete detour from his career-long philosophy to initiate a teardown that has the Sixers starting over.”