James Harden, the 2018 NBA MVP, appears to be sending a message amid his desire to leave the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 76ers traded for Harden during the 2021-22 season.
Before this offseason’s free agency period, Harden opted into his $35.6 million contract for next season, according to multiple reports.
ESPN reported that Harden requested a trade and the Los Angeles Clippers have been mentioned as one of his preferred destinations. Harden has taken the next step in the ongoing saga by removing references to the Sixers from his social media platforms.
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hardening Twitter Biography previously said he was an «NBA Player for the Philadelphia 76ers» and his location was listed as «Philadelphia, PA.»
Both references have now disappeared.
76ERS’ JOEL EMBIID ON JAMES HARDEN’S TRADE REQUEST: ‘WE HOPE HIS MINDSET CAN BE CHANGED’
The only item listed in Harden’s bio as of Thursday afternoon is the Twitter handle for his wine business, «@jhardenwines.»
The 33-year-old’s Instagram bio also does not mention that he is a member of the Sixers. But Harden saved several photos of him in a 76ers uniform to his account.
76ers general manager Daryl Morey, who spent eight seasons with Harden when he was with the Houston Rockets, said he is «trying to honor» Harden’s request, but only if Philadelphia receives significant compensation in return.
«I have a long relationship with him. I’m trying to honor that,» Morey said in a radio interview with 97.5 The Fanatic this week. «But the reality is that if we do look at a trade, it will be for one of two things.
«Or it will be for a player who continues to help us be there like last year, up 3-2 on one of the best teams in the East, the Celtics.»
Morey also hinted that the team would be open to welcoming Harden back for 2023-24 if he changes his mind about playing in Philadelphia next season.
«If we don’t get a very good player or something that we can make into a very good player, then we just won’t do it,» Morey said. «If James would change his mind, we would all be delighted. Have you heard [Joel Embiid’s] comments on that.»
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A viral video recently showed Emiid talking about his desire to win an NBA championship «whether it’s in Philly or anywhere else.»
Harden averaged 21 points last season. He also averaged 10.7 assists per game, which led him in the NBA.