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#pounditMonday, June 5, 2023

Interesting report emerges about James Harden’s future

James Harden looking on

Nov 15, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) arrives to Toyota Center prior to the game against the Indiana Pacers. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

It may be time to lay out the red carpet for James Harden’s homecoming.

An interesting report from Sam Amick and Kelly Iko of The Athletic came out this week. The report states that the Philadelphia 76ers star Harden is “serious” about a possible return to the Houston Rockets in the offseason. The Rockets are also “widely expected” to pursue Harden if he becomes available, the report adds.

The Athletic piece examines the long history between Harden and the Rockets, the team he played for from 2012 to 2021, as well as the factors under consideration with a possible reunion. You can read it in full here.

Harden, who turns 34 later this year, has a $35.6 million player option for 2023-24 that he can turn down to hit unrestricted free agency. The Rockets, whom Harden won three scoring titles with as well as an MVP award in 2018, currently have very little money on their books as most of their players are still on rookie contracts.

At a comically bad 13-49 this season (and currently on an active 11-game losing streak), Houston lacks any sort of identity on either side of the ball. While there would be some risk in reorienting their rebuilding team around an aging Harden, all signs seem to be pointing in the direction of a reunion.


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