Multiple reports have come out confirming and denying the rumors that James Harden wants out of the Brooklyn; NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski has now released another story that adds even more intrigue to the saga of Harden’s future with the Nets.
According to Woj, Harden does want to be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, but he’s hesitant to pull the trigger on a request because he’s worried about the public backlash that would come from asking out of a second franchise for the second time in as many years.
ESPN Sources: Although Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden wants a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers, he has resisted making that formal request out of fear of the public backlash that would come with asking out of a second franchise in consecutive seasons. https://t.co/My5XljBlI1— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 10, 2022
That being said, Harden is hopeful that 6ers president of basketball ops Daryl Morey finalizes a trade before the League’s trade deadline concluding at 3 PM. However, Morey and Nets general manager Sean Marks has yet to engage in serious negotiations on a deal per Woj. Woj says that there are expectations that the 76ers and Nets will have some dialogue, but both teams are weighing the risk-reward of a deal centered on The Beard.
According to Woj, acquiring Harden before the trade deadline means the 6ers and Morey will have to include not only Ben Simmons but assets that will help offset the cost of creating salary cap space to sign Harden over the summer. If a trade doesn’t happen Thursday, reports say the Nets and 76ers could reconsider sending Harden over to Philly via an opt-in and trade.
The risk for the Nets boils down to do they want to risk losing a disgruntled Harden for nothing after selling the house just to get him to form a Big 3 with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant and form the ultimate championship-or-bust roster. Nets management is reportedly championship-or-bust this season and believes that the return of KD will reverse the team’s fortunes.
Harden has missed Brooklyn’s last three games with a hamstring injury. Woj reports that the 76ers are largely retreating on trade deadline moves involving Simmons until they’re clear on whether or not to include him.
The Nets (29-25) have lost nine straight games heading into their Thursday night game against the Washington Wizards (24-29).