Patrick Beverley Reveals Free Agency Plans With Sixers’ James Harden

James Harden, Patrick Beverley

Getty Patrick Beverley of the Chicago Bulls, James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers

Guard Patrick Beverley revealed what his free agency plans were with former teammate and Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden on “The Pat Bev Podcast” on May 23.

When asked if Harden was going back to the Houston Rockets and if there was a chance that Beverley would reunite with him, Beverley responded with, “Very highly.” Beverley also admitted he wanted to back to the Rockets after the Los Angeles Lakers traded him, but the Rockets told him that they didn’t need him at the moment, that he might not have played, and that he might have only mentored their young players.

After being traded by the Lakers and waived by the Orlando Magic, Beverley spent the rest of the 2022-23 season with the Chicago Bulls.

Beverley and Harden played on the Rockets together from 2013 to 2017, where they made the playoffs every season and the furthest they got as teammates was the Western Conference Finals in 2015.

Insider Believes Harden is Using Rockets as Leverage

Though there has been plenty of speculation regarding Harden’s potential return to the Rockets, NBA Insider Brian Windhorst believes Harden is using them as leverage in contract discussions with the Sixers.

On “The Hoop Collective,” Windhorst explained why he thinks the rumors tying Harden to the Rockets are all a ploy for the Sixers to offer more money.

“I still suspect that all of that is one giant leverage play, that what James Harden really wants is to elicit the biggest offer out of the Sixers, even if it isn’t a max. Whatever the number of money is, for as long as many years as he can get, and that this slow dance for months, and these rumors are all sort of tied to that,” Windhorst said.

Windhorst mentioned that Kyrie Irving is doing the same thing with his free agency and explained why the two of them are playing it this way with their respective teams.

“Just doing all of this, and whatever he may do between now and free agency to try to get the juiciest offer he can from the team that he’s on because those are the teams (the Sixers and Mavericks) that face the most damage from losing those guys.”

Losing Harden will not equate to the Sixers having the cap space to replace him with a free agent, but they could potentially replace him with some of the contracts on their roster, like Tobias Harris ($39.3 million) and PJ Tucker ($11 million).

Writer Analyzes How Philly Fared After James Harden Trade

After the Sixers were eliminated from the playoffs for the second consecutive season with Harden on the team, Brian Lewis of The New York Post gave his thoughts on how the Sixers fared when they traded Ben Simmons for Harden.

Lewis explained that because of the Sixers’ intentions with the trade, combined with their results since the trade, determines whether they were winners or not.

“Philadelphia’s gambit was a win-now move, and a title would’ve made the Sixers the clear winners no matter what happened elsewhere. But if Harden leaves, they will have never even gotten close, with their end of the ledger tallied up.”

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