The Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers remain engaged in talks surrounding a trade for star guard James Harden a week ahead of the start of the regular season, league sources said. Here’s what you need to know:
- Harden has not attended any of the 76ers’ three preseason games, has skipped a shootaround and has only participated in one five-on-five live competition in the two weeks since training camp began, per the sources.
- Harden wants to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers and is slated to be a free agent next summer.
- It’s been a turbulent offseason for Harden and the Sixers, during which he called president of basketball operations Daryl Morey a “liar” and vowed to “never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”
James Harden-76ers trade saga timeline
Harden skipped Philadelphia’s media day on Oct. 2. Morey said at the time that Harden continues to seek a trade and the Sixers are “working with his representation to resolve that in the best way for the 76ers and hopefully all parties.”
The Athletic reported earlier this month that Harden decided to take part in training camp because he remains hopeful that a trade to the Clippers is still in the works and believes, for now, that it would be wise to not be a distraction.
Throughout the summer, the 10-time All-Star reiterated his desire to not play for the 76ers. He opted into his $35.6 million deal in August for the upcoming season in order for him and the 76ers to work together on a trade out of Philadelphia. Tensions escalated that month when Harden made the “liar” comment about Morey while speaking at a marketing event in China after the Sixers decided to end trade talks.
The NBA subsequently launched an inquiry into Harden’s comments and fined him $100,000 for his public trade demands. In turn, the National Basketball Players Association said it would file a grievance regarding the discipline.
Harden averaged 21 points, 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game last season and helped the 76ers advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals, which they lost in seven games to the Boston Celtics.
(Photo: Vincent Carchietta / USA Today)