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#pounditSunday, June 4, 2023

Reason why James Harden has not requested a trade revealed

James Harden on the court

James Harden is reportedly hoping the Brooklyn Nets trade him ahead of the Thursday afternoon deadline, but there is said to be a very simple reason why he has not explicitly asked the team to deal him.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Harden has stopped short of formally requesting a trade because he is afraid of the optics. The 32-year-old fears the public criticism that would come with a trade demand after he forced his way out of Houston prior to last season.

Harden is hoping the Nets trade him to the Philadelphia 76ers prior to the deadline. However, Wojnarowski reports that Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and Nets general manager Sean Marks had not had any significant discussions as of Thursday morning.

The Nets reportedly want the 76ers to include draft picks and/or other players in addition to Ben Simmons in any potential deal for Harden. Morey is hesitant due to the fact that Harden has a player option for next season and can become a free agent this summer. It’s possible the two teams could explore a sign-and-trade this summer if no agreement can be reached Thursday.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Wednesday that the Nets and Sixers were making significant progress on a Harden-Simmons swap. Woj then essentially dropped a flying elbow on his co-worker shortly afterword.

Photo: Feb 16, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) reacts against the Phoenix Suns at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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