The offseason drama between James Harden and Philadelphia 76ers’ president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, only continues to intensify. While taking questions during an Adidas press tour in China, Harden did not hold back when discussing Morey, according to a video posted by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on August 14.
“Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said in the video. “Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”
Harden’s willingness to publicly trash Morey is a clear indication that the standoff between Harden and the team is not going away anytime soon. In June, Harden opted in for the final year of his contract and then requested a trade, preferably to the Los Angeles Clippers. Then, on August 12, the Sixers said they were halting efforts to try to trade Harden, according to ESPN. A day later, The Athletic reported that Harden planned to skip training camp in October.
Whatever message Harden is trying to send to the Sixers, he might have overplayed his hand, according to CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter.
Calling the standoff an example of Harden’s “utter tone deafness,” Reiter wrote on August 14.
“Harden wanted to have his cake, eat it, too, and get paid well beyond his market value,” he wrote. “And the Beard … may have only hardened the resolve of an organization now utterly disinterested in doing him any favors.
Sixers Elect Not to Trade James Harden: Report
On August 12, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers have decided to keep Harden for the time being.
“ESPN Sources: The 76ers have ended trade talks on guard James Harden and plan to bring him back to training camp for start of the season. The Sixers had periodic offseason conversations with the Clippers — Harden’s desired destination — but no traction on a deal materialized,” Wojnarowski wrote via his personal Twitter.
Wojnarowski added why the Sixers will not grant Harden’s request to be traded.
“Philly believes it has a championship team with Harden and want to find a way to make it work with him this season, sources said,” according to Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski wrote that the Sixers are willing to get uncomfortable despite Harden’s not wavering on his trade request.
“Harden has been emphatic in wanting a trade, so the Sixers are setting up an uncomfortable situation to start camp,” Wojnarowski wrote. “Ultimately, Philadelphia wouldn’t make a trade that they believed would compromise their title hopes.”
James Harden Won’t Attend Training Camp: Report
The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported on August 12 that Harden not only still wants to be traded but also has no plans to participate in Sixers’ training camp.
“No matter what signals the Sixers might send when it comes to trade talks, a source close to Harden reiterated that the 10-time All-Star and former MVP no longer wants to play for Philadelphia and has no plans of taking part in training camp,” Amick wrote.
Amick added that Harden still expects to be traded, though it remains to be seen if he’ll follow through on his plans not to participate in training camp.
“Does that mean he won’t report if a deal doesn’t go down by that point, or that he’ll make a messy spectacle of his training camp arrival like he did when he was trying to get out of Houston back in December of 2020? That part remains unclear, with Harden’s side still expressing a belief that there will be meaningful developments on the trade talk front before that time comes.”