Report: Sixers unconcerned that they will lose James Harden to Rockets
While the Philadelphia 76ers have their focus set on getting ready for the playoffs and continue to chase a championship, the question of what James Harden will do in the offseason continues to be at the forefront of anything he and the Sixers do.
Philadelphia acquired the future Hall of Fame guard from the Brooklyn Nets at the 2022 deadline that sent Ben Simmons and other pieces such as Seth Curry and Andre Drummond to Brooklyn. The hope for the Sixers is that he and Joel Embiid will lead the team to its first championship since 1983.
In the 2022 offseason, Harden signed a 1+1 deal with the Sixers meaning he can opt out and test free agency again in 2023. The Houston Rockets are a team that continues to pop up when it comes to The Beard due to his affinity to the city and the organization.
However, the Sixers seem to be unconcerned as per Kelly Iko and Sam Amick of The Athletic:
Amid all the evidence Harden might be planning a return to Houston, here’s the part where his situation gets so fascinating: According to a high-ranking Sixers source with knowledge of the team’s operation, they are “unconcerned” about possibly losing him this summer. This confidence, it seems, is rooted in the belief that only Philadelphia can provide the two things Harden holds most dear: A chance to contend for a title, and maximum earning potential.
The chance for a title makes sense. While Philadelphia still has a long way to go to catch up to the likes of the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference, they offer the best shot at a title for Harden. It wouldn’t make much basketball sense for him to go back to the Rockets considering they are still in the middle of what is looking like a longer-than-expected rebuild.
However, there is always that saying: where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The 2023 offseason figures to be an interesting one for both Harden and the Sixers.
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