Sources: Potential James Harden to 76ers deal could result in NBA investigation

Teams around the NBA would consider asking the league to investigate a James Harden to 76ers deal, should the Brooklyn Nets superstar land in Philadelphia, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Harden has been linked to the 76ers because of his relationship with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey from their time with the Houston Rockets. Harden is also friends with 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin.

Some front-office executives believe talks are going on now between Harden and the 76ers on a potential offseason move, and this could be considered tampering by the league.

As the trade deadline nears on Feb. 10, there has been renewed interest in what the 76ers are planning to do with their disgruntled star, Ben Simmons. Simmons has not played this season after asking for a trade. So far, the 76ers have not received a trade offer they deem enough to send Simmons out of Philadelphia. Harden could be the caliber of player the 76ers are holding out for.

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden.
If Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden ends up in Philadelphia this offseason, some team executives could push the NBA to investigate, league sources told Yahoo Sports. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A report from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer this week said Harden may not be happy in Brooklyn and could be open to a change of scenery. Harden disputed the report.

The Nets are title contenders, but have rarely had their heralded Big 3 on the court at the same time.

Kyrie Irving sat out the first part of the season because he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, which New York City mandates for performers. The Nets reversed course and now allow him to play in only road games. His first game was Jan. 5.

Kevin Durant is out with an MCL sprain in his left knee and is expected to return after the All-Star break. Durant, who on Thursday was named an All-Star Game captain for the second straight season, is expected to miss the game to continue rehab.

The Nets, in the midst of a three-game skid, are 29-19 and fourth in the Eastern Conference. BetMGM still lists them as the favorites to win the 2021-22 NBA championship at +275.

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