James Harden (personal) returned to the Philadelphia 76ers after 10 days away, as the team prepares for practice prior to today’s flight to Milwaukee for opening night. However, the 10-time All-Star is out for at least the first two games of the 2023-24 NBA season.
“James Harden hasn’t practiced with Sixers since October 15, and [the] plan is [to] allow him to stay at Camden practice facility and work with team development staff to get the live action necessary to get him playing games once Sixers return from Milwaukee-Toronto trip, sources said,” reported ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
It was announced last week that Harden would be subjected to a $389,082 fine for every regular season game he missed without the consent of the team. The fine falls under “failure to render services.”
Per a few NBA betting sites, the Philadelphia 76ers hold ninth-shortest odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat.
James Harden hasn’t practiced with Sixers since October 15 and plan is allowing him to stay at Camden practice facility and work with team development staff to get the live action necessary to get him playing games once Sixers return from Milwaukee-Toronto trip, sources said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 25, 2023
Of course, the seven-time All-NBA member would also be subject to a minimum fine of $2,500 for missing practice. He had skipped practice Monday and missed multiple practices last week and the final preseason game.
Though, it appears Harden is now making an effort to participate in team activities. The 14-year veteran has been seeking a trade since picking up his $35.6 million player option for the 2023-24 season.
James Harden (personal) returned to 76ers, out at least first two games against the Bucks and Raptors
His player option is part of the two-year, $68.64 million contract he signed last July. In August, the NBA issued him a $100,000 fine for his public comments made toward Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.
At an Adidas event in China, the guard was filmed 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 returned to Philadelphia on Tuesday night with his bags packed to join team on the road for Thursday vs. Bucks and Saturday vs. Raptors, but the 76ers have now asked him not to travel with the team, sources said. https://t.co/N7GONkU6l9
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 25, 2023
“No,” Harden said, when asked whether he thought things could improve with Morey. “This is not even about this situation — this is in life. When you lose trust in someone, it’s like a marriage … you lose trust in someone, you know what I mean? It’s pretty simple.”
Harden, 34, is the only Sixer listed on the injury report ahead of Thursday’s game. Sportsbooks show Philadelphia as a 5.5-point underdog at Milwaukee.