When the Philadelphia 76ers open the 2022-23 season up in Boston, all eyes will be on James Harden as he begins his first full season with the team after being acquired from the Brooklyn Nets at the deadline midway through the 2021-22 season.
The Beard averaged 21 points, 10.5 assists, and 7.1 rebounds in those games, but he wasn’t the same Harden. He wasn’t the same explosive scorer that he has shown throughout his career and how he has been able to build a Hall of Fame resume.
Now that he has been able to have a summer to rest the nagging hamstring injury that has bothered him in recent years, the idea is that Harden will be back to who he was before.
The Athletic put together a list of a player on every roster around the league with the most to prove and Harden was chosen for Philadelphia:
Unless something drastic happens because of the league’s tampering investigation, Daryl Morey has provided James Harden with the necessary tools. The Sixers added three wings with length and shooting, a few of whom Harden played with in Houston. They have an MVP candidate (Joel Embiid) who can do enough heavy lifting so that Harden will not have to play at his former MVP level to have success. Harden would likely push back that he has nothing left to prove, but the only thing left to add to his basketball résumé is an NBA title.
Harden has done everything an NBA player can do in this league except for winning a title. The Sixers offer him the best opportunity to do so as he continues his quest at this stage of his career. If he can look anywhere close to his former self, even if it’s his early days with the Nets, then the Sixers can really take that leap forward as he is one of the best as both a scorer and a playmaker.
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