James Harden demanded a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers this past June after he exercised his $35.6 million player option for the 2023-24 season, and since the 10-time All-Star has yet to be traded, NBA insiders are speculating that he’ll skip Sixers Media Day next Monday.
Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer provided his take on the disgruntled star. “First of all, I don’t expect him to be [at Media Day on Monday], I just don’t,” he said on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “The first thing I want to ask him is what did [Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey] lie about?
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— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) September 27, 2023
“And why do you want out? And thinks like that,” Pompey added. “You heard the reports that basically it was said that Daryl didn’t move him, and he promised to move him, but that was a report.”
At an Adidas event in China back in August, Harden was filmed in public saying, “Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. 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.”
James Harden is expected to miss Philadelphia 76ers Media Day; is the 10-time All-Star angry at Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey for refusing a max extension?
A week later, the 14-year veteran was fined $100,000 by the NBA for his public comments made toward Morey. The initial report concluded that “Harden told league investigators he was referring to Daryl Morey telling [him] he will trade him ‘quickly’ following the $35.6 million opt in for 2023-24.” This was first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
During an interview with a KHOU 11 television reporter in Houston, the seven-time All-NBA member was asked if his relationship with the Sixers was beyond repair.
“I think so,” Harden replied. “I’ve been patient all summer. For me, it’s just focus on what I can control and getting ready for this season.”
— James Harden (@JHarden13) September 26, 2023
So, what did Daryl Morey lie to James Harden about? If the Sixers executive didn’t lie about trading him, perhaps Harden’s comments pertained to the rejection of a new deal.
Philadelphia could have offered the guard as much as a four-year, $213 million extension in free agency. However, that would have required a long-term commitment.
Regardless, it’s fair to assume that Harden’s days in a 76ers uniform are numbered. If he decides to skip Sixers Media Day, maybe the three-time scoring champ will also miss training camp.