Despite Joel Embiid hoping that James Harden’s mind could be swayed on wanting to leave Philly, it doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
Furthermore, Harden’s relationship with Daryl Morey, the 76ers’ president of basketball operations, has apparently “fractured,” NBA insider Shams Charania reported on “The Rally” on Monday.
Charania also reported that Harden continues to want to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
“The relationship between James Harden and Daryl Morey, it’s essentially severed,” Charania said. “It’s essentially fractured throughout this process. There’s no longer that valve of open-minded, open-ended trust that we’ve seen over the course of 692 games that Daryl Morey and James Harden have been together in Houston and in Philly.”
Morey and Harden’s time together dates back to the days the pair spent with the Rockets, but the Sixers’ slow movement to find a trade for former MVP has seemingly taken its toll on their relationship.
The NBA superstar had been unhappy with the way Philadelphia had handled his free agency and it was reported in late June that he’d opt into the final year of his deal with the 76ers in order to work out a trade out of town.
“When James Harden opted in, the decision to work together on a trade, that stemmed from James Harden believing that there was no real intention from the Sixers in giving him a long-term offer as a free agent,” Charania said. “And so everyone around the Sixers, they know that he’s been incredibly unnerved about how the team has handled his potential free agency.
“Especially, last summer he takes a $15 million pay cut in salary to allow the Sixers to go out make moves and make the team better. So right now James Harden is still where he’s been the last few weeks. He wants a trade and he wants a trade to the Clippers.”
The 76es aren’t likely going to take anything they can get for Harden and the Philly Voice reported on Monday that they were looking for “an All-Star-level return for Harden in the event that they trade him.”
ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported during Friday’s edition of NBA Today that the Sixers had placed an “exorbitant” value on Harden and that teams weren’t showing much interest in what Philly was asking.
Charania said during Monday’s report that it would need to come down to the Sixers and Clippers sitting down to engage in meaningful conversations.
“We’ve seen how James Harden can come into camp when he’s disgruntled,” Charania said. “He did it in Houston to get out of there, and this time around, there’s not that relationship between Daryl Morey and James Harden is nowhere close to being on solid ground.”