ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne gives insight on Sixers’ James Harden, Doc Rivers

The offseason is now for the Philadelphia 76ers following the Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics. The Sixers now have to move forward and figure out what they will do when it comes to James Harden and Doc Rivers.

Harden has a player option for the 2023-24 season that he will likely opt out of and test free agency. Obviously, he has been linked to reports of going back to the Houston Rockets all season long and there’s a good reason to believe he’ll head back to the Rockets.

Rivers still has two years left on his deal to be the coach of the Sixers, but obviously, after three straight defeats in the Eastern Conference semifinals, that brings uncertainty to the position.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne gave a little insight that whatever the Sixers do on Rivers will have an effect on Harden:

They have to start with the decision. Do you want to move forward with James Harden and Joel Embiid as you’re pairing? Is this your superstar pairing moving forward? Because James Harden can become a free agent which means that you have to decide if you want to give him a four-year contract. You want to lock this in for the next four years and that decision from what I understand talking to people…also now becomes tied to the decision about Doc Rivers because James Harden was not all that supportive of Doc Rivers in his press conference yesterday. I think behind the scenes from I told that one person said it would be hard for me to see James wanting to come back and play for Doc again, this is going to be a situation where those two decisions are linked. As we go forward into this into this offseason and you have another second round exit, you have to decide if you want to lock in your future around those two guys, and then if you’re doing that, what does that mean for Doc Rivers because the decision seems to be linked.

When discussing his future following the loss to the Celtics, Harden described his relationship with Rivers as “OK”. That could be telling as he continues to move toward free agency. Either way, this will be one interesting situation to keep an eye on as Philadelphia moves forward.


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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire