A “Perk Bomb” just exploded on the internet. Kendrick Perkins recently joined the “All The Smoke” podcast where he hinted that James Harden is indeed interested in joining the Philadelphia 76ers. His main reason? Joel Embiid.
The Sixers’ MVP candidate has been on a tear since Christmas while single-handedly putting the team back in playoff contention. There are growing reports that Harden — Perkins’ teammate for two seasons in Oklahoma City — will exercise his player option after the 2021-22 season and ask the Brooklyn Nets for a sign-and-trade. And Philadelphia might be his preferred destination, according to Perkins.
“This is real life, this is not rumors, OK? No matter how much he may try to deny it,” Perkins said of Harden’s desire to leave Brooklyn. “I think Philly wants to win. I know they aren’t going to win a championship unless they make a big move, but I think it’s more so about next season. I’m just going to give you hints so you can figure it out.
“James Harden didn’t sign his contract extension. He didn’t sign it. He was supposed to sign it. It was supposed to go KD [Kevin Durant], Kyrie [Irving], James Harden. Didn’t happen. So he didn’t sign it.
“Now James Harden’s camp is telling people in Philly, ‘We want to come play with Embiid next year.’ This ain’t no lie. It’s facts. But then he’s telling the Brooklyn Nets, the ownership group different, you see what I’m saying? I ain’t never tell nobody this s***. This is happening in real life.”
The latest Sixers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Sixers newsletter here!
Sixers Twitter Pushing Strip Club Scene
Harden’s affinity for strip clubs has made headlines in other cities. Perkins went so far as to claim that his “strip club hopping” cost Oklahoma City a championship in 2012. So, obviously, Philadelphia started making their pitch when news broke of Harden’s desire to leave Brooklyn.
The running joke on Twitter was that New York strip clubs weren’t good enough for the 2018 MVP. He preferred the scene in Houston where he was a local celebrity and got the VIP treatment everywhere he went. In fact, one strip club even hung up a Harden jersey from the rafters. Philly — thanks to its smaller city vibes over New York — would have no qualms in placating Harden.
Sixers Prefer Summer Harden Deal: Report
The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick fueled rumors on January 24 when they reported the Sixers were content to wait until the summer to pursue Harden. There is no player currently available – all apologies to Tyrese Haliburton, De’Aaron Fox, John Collins — that satisfies Philly’s “All-Star” ask. They would rather wait for Harden than settle for a second-tier guy. They wrote the following:
The 76ers are believed to prefer to wait in order to pursue Harden or another superstar in the offseason and thus want to save Simmons for that potential sign-and-trade rather than take what’s available on the current market.
Unless Philadelphia is blown away at the deadline by a team that significantly improves its current best offer, in other words, the standstill between Simmons and the Sixers will continue past the deadline.
The trade deadline is set for February 10, but don’t hold your breath on something happening. The Sixers have gone 13-4 since December 20 while winning two in a row over San Antonio and New Orleans. No rush.