Report: James Harden returning to Rockets ‘a very real possibility’
The Houston Rockets remain optimistic regarding the potential of bringing superstar guard James Harden back to the organization in 2023 free agency, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Harden is currently finishing out a second season with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Rockets will have up to $60 million in salary cap room this offseason, and Harden could be a focal point of their plans to return to NBA relevancy. MacMahon spoke about the situation on the latest episode of ESPN’s Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast.
Among MacMahon’s comments:
Not just that Houston wants to, but Houston believes it is a legitimate possibility and that’s not coming out of thin air. James Harden still spends a lot of time in Houston. Spends his summers in Houston. Works out at the Rockets’ facility on a regular basis. It’s a very real possibility. And Harden, by the way, never shot it down. He just said ‘I don’t know where that came from.’
Windhorst referred to Harden’s response as a non-denial. However, he also noted that the Harden-Houston storyline could be a “leverage point” in negotiations between Harden and the Sixers, with the 33-year-old perhaps using Houston’s interest to leverage his way into a longer contract than would otherwise be offered.
Time will tell. The podcast can be listened to below.
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Report: James Harden ‘seriously considering’ return to Rockets in 2023