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#pounditSunday, July 14, 2024

New reason revealed for why James Harden wants out of Philly

James Harden dribbles

Feb 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) brings the ball up court against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

It has been widely reported that James Harden wants the Philadelphia 76ers to trade him because he is unhappy with the way they handled his contract situation, but there is apparently at least one other reason the former MVP would like a fresh start.

Rachel Nichols of Showtime spoke about Harden’s trade demand during a Thursday appearance on FS1’s “UNDISPUTED.” She claimed that the reason Harden initially wanted out of Philly is that he no longer wants to be the No. 2 option on a team.

“He still thinks of himself as the guy from that Game 1 or the guy from that Game 4 (against the Boston Celtics). He thinks he should be leading the show,” Nichols said. “The reason why he wanted out of Philadelphia in the first place is that it’s the Joel Embiid show right now. He wants a different role.”

According to Nichols, Harden believes his 45-point and 42-point performances against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals are proof that he is still capable of being the centerpiece of a team. Others would argue that the 23 points Harden scored in Game 6 and Game 7 combined are a better representation of where the 34-year-old is at in his career.

Harden recently called 76ers executive Daryl Morey a liar (video here) and said he would never again play for an organization with which Morey is associated. Harden reportedly told NBA investigators that the comments stemmed from Morey assuring Harden the 10-time All-Star would be traded quickly after exercising his player option for the 2023-24 season.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had previously said that Harden’s frustration stemmed from the Sixers not offering the star guard a long-term max deal after Harden took a pay cut last offseason.

So what is the truth? Probably a combination of all of the aforementioned reasons. Whatever the case, Harden still wants to be traded. There has been no indication that the Sixers are going to grant him his wish in the near future.


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