NBA trade rumors: Nets' James Harden sounds iffy on Brooklyn

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The James Harden-Nets situation doesn't sound too solid originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

While the Sixers' Ben Simmons trade saga has long involved teams like the Kings, Hawks, and Pacers, suddenly the eye of the storm in Daryl Morey's search for the perfect trade is... James Harden.

Again.

Just like last year at this time, the prevailing reporting from the top NBA insiders across the country is indicating that the Sixers' President of Basketball Operations has his eyes set on acquiring Harden.

RELATED: Puzzling East team joins Simmons trade talk race

It would require Harden to spurn the Nets, while also likely collaborating with Brooklyn's front office on a sign-and-trade, a high wire act only navigable by the league's biggest names. But that hasn't slowed the rumors and news from exploding over the past week.

In a story published Tuesday by Bleacher Report NBA insider Jake Fischer, the "is Harden about to leave the Nets?" buzz continued to grow.

Here's what Fischer has heard, from sources close to the situation:

"Harden has recently informed several confidants—including former teammates and coaches—of his interest in exploring other opportunities outside of Brooklyn this summer, league sources told B/R. 

"[...]

"According to multiple sources, Harden has not enjoyed living in Brooklyn, compared to his days as a central Houston magnate. Outside of the change in climate, the chasm between state taxes in New York versus Texas is quite obvious as well."

Fascinating.

Harden had the choice last year of asking the Rockets to send him to Philadelphia over Brooklyn, but opted for the Nets - likely in large part because the Nets had bigger stars, one of whom happened to be a good buddy of his, and also they employed his former head coach in Mike D'Antoni.

RELATED: Morey says pre-deadline Simmons deal 'less likely than likely'

Now it appears the sheen of those black-and-white jerseys has worn off and the circus that is the Brooklyn Nets seems to be grating on Harden.

I've got bad news and good news for The Beard.

Bad news: Philadelphia is also cold, and Pennsylvania has an income tax.

Good news: The Sixers don't have Kyrie Irving's headaches, and they do have Joel Embiid.

If Harden really wants to take a serious look at other teams heading into the offseason, you have to think that means the Sixers are in good position to pull it off and land the former MVP.

There aren't many landing spots around the league that would be better for Harden, who turns 33 before next season begins, to keep pursuing that elusive championship than in Philly. And the Nets are finding much better return for watching Harden scoot out of town than acquiring a 25-year-old defensive mastermind and three-time All-Star who perfectly complements their best player.

Will it actually happen? It's hard to predict right now. The Nets could go win a title this year, making it highly unlikely Harden heads elsewhere. Or they could flame out and his eyes could start wandering.

It's a crazy situation, and one that's only getting crazier.