Mike D’Antoni luring James Harden? Rumor may sound familiar to Wizards fans

Chase Hughes
·2 min read

Rumor of D'Antoni luring Harden to Sixers sounds familiar originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

A high profile head coach is available and there is speculation a former Oklahoma City Thunder star could follow him where he goes.

The rumor, which involves James Harden and Mike D'Antoni and originates from NBC Sports Philadelphia, may sound familiar to Wizards fans. The same connection was drawn back in 2016 when they hired Scott Brooks. Many wondered whether it would lead to Kevin Durant joining Washington in free agency.

That, of course, never happened. And the Harden-D'Antoni possibility with the Philadelphia 76ers seems even more farfetched given Harden isn't going to be a free agent until 2022 at the earliest and that would require him to opt out of the roughly $47 million he's owed for the 2022-23 season.

Harden would also be 33 in 2022, so you're talking about playing the long game for a player who could very well be past his peak by then. Philly has reason for much more urgency than that with Joel Embiid in his prime and Ben Simmons entering his.

The original report, from John Clark of NBC Sports Philly, does mention the possibility of a trade. Houston has shown no indication they want to trade Harden, but things can change quickly in the NBA. It would just cost Philly a lot, probably Simmons plus other pieces.

D'Antoni has helped unlock Harden's game by catering his isolation-heavy offense around him. But Harden has become so great, he will likely still be competing for scoring titles, no matter who is calling the plays.

Philly is probably better off looking for more immediate help, whether D'Antoni is holding the clipboard or not.