The Sixers guard is supposedly available to leaving Philly this coming offseason.

The Sixers continuing a win streak as well as being a typical basketball team on Christmas would not have actually gotten on brand name for the group. So in the lead-up to their competition with the Knicks, we got a bombshell from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski: James Harden is seriously considering a go back to the Houston Rockets following summer season.

This irritable writer can only say, “Oh bro” as an immediate reaction. Here are a few of the details from Wojnarowski’s report:

All-Star guard James Harden is seriously thinking about a go back to the Houston Firecrackers in free agency this July– if he makes a decision against a brand-new bargain with the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told ESPN.

Harden as well as his inner-circle have actually been honestly evaluating Houston in current weeks and also months, resources claimed, a remarkable opportunity considered that he asked for and obtained a profession out of the franchise less than two years ago.

His future with the 76ers continues to be a liquid recommendation, one that’s been buoyed with 7 straight triumphes on the way into a Xmas Day meeting with the New York Knicks (noon ET on ABC and ESPN). Harden gets on a winning as well as efficient roll with All-NBA facility Joel Embiid, and also the state of that collaboration and also the Sixers’ postseason success could well be telltale factors in exactly how Harden profits past this period. Experiencing a deep playoff run in a wild, starving Philly market might favorably impact his reasoning– equally as the after effects of a very early leave might too….

For every one of Harden’s background and link with Sixers head of state of basketball operations Daryl Morey and CEO Tad Brown, his working connections with Embiid and train Doc Rivers appear like something closer to a work in progress. The Sixers gave up considerable assets to get Harden as well as he’s anticipated to remain a priority to re-sign on a new offer for a second successive summer season.

Below is my understanding of the circumstance on Philly’s end– this has not changed anything, and also they are not shocked at the idea that Harden might have alternatives in the summer. The Sixers are going to proceed this season with Harden and also Embiid as the lynchpins of the group, and also they are hopeful they’ll have the ability to secure his commitment long-term once the season mores than.

If Harden makes a decision to leave the Sixers to go back to Houston, one of the most awful groups in the league with few prospects to compete in the prompt term, you ‘d simply have to laugh at all the cases he has actually made concerning putting winning initially and also adamantly looking for championships. He is definitely permitted to favor one location or one more for a wide range of reasons, from comfort to cash to any old reason he could choose imaginable, yet going to a Rockets team far from success would definitely not match his public assertions concerning what drives him.

As Wojnarowski enters into somewhere else in his tale, there are definitely elements to think about beyond basketball for Harden in Houston. He maintains a residence there and also returns there regularly throughout the offseason, and also the bonds he developed over his time there are as real as it gets. He was celebrated as something near to a hero in Houston for factors on and off of the floor, which’s something that will only can be found in Philly if he and also Embiid handle to win with each other below. He has neither the longevity neither the on-court influence to gain that type of love with the citizens below yet, though all intel suggests Harden has actually delighted in the experience in Philly thus far.

The hope, undoubtedly, has actually constantly been that this season and playoff run would cement everyone’s bonds, as this is the run the Sixers have constructed this group for. Recently, the Sixers have been on an outright roll, and also the timing of the report– on Christmas Day, on the heels of the Sixers’ ideal win of the period– makes your mind most likely to the most negative areas feasible. There’s no far better way to say, “You’re mosting likely to need to pay me the complete watercraft” than leaking that you ‘d potentially leave in free agency on the greatest day on the NBA’s regular period schedule.

The on-court product has actually never ever been much better than Harden and also Embiid’s leading effort versus the Clippers, but as I try to advise fairly usually in this room, there’s also a difference between something working well and the players actually liking how it is functioning. Prior to the broadcast of Sixers-Knicks on Xmas, Embiid provided a TV meeting to ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth where he kept in mind that Harden is evolving right into a different role entirely.

” I assume he remains in a position of his job where he has to be even more of a playmaker, and also you can see by the numbers,” Embiid stated to Hubbarth in the interview aired on Sunday. “This year, he’s possibly going to lead the league in aids.”

It’s that phrasing, “needs to,” that makes you pause for a minute. On the other half of the collaboration, we’ve seen Embiid bristle in the past at the concept of being a pick-and-roll hefty large, something he had the skill to be however not necessarily the need till just recently. The tail end of Wojnarowski’s post makes you pause for a second as well as rethink what you think you understand about Harden’s joy as more of a table setter, though it’s reasonable to note it’s a role he began to embrace at his previous drop in Brooklyn, also.

There are lasting concerns as an outcome of this bombshell, as you have to think about where the Sixers would be left if Harden determined to just leave in the offseason. But there are additionally real temporary things to consider prior to you arrive. For instance, the re-integration of Tyrese Maxey is a substantial concern for Philadelphia in the weeks and months ahead, however if you remain in fear of Harden walking this summertime, the requirement to more bring along Maxey as a solo ballhandler leading various units just raises. In a future where Harden strolls, the Sixers require to protect themselves versus the possibility that their largest creative skill might go out the door. If you would certainly ask Doc Rivers, I would certainly visualize he would simply plow with this and try to keep things as constant and regular as feasible, crossing the bridge of complimentary company when they arrive. Yet as an organization, the Sixers possibly can not approach it that way.

( Mentioning Maxey, if Harden leaving is also a semi-possibility, any possible profession including Maxey comes to be something close to a non-starter unless it returns a face-of-the-franchise kind guard locked up for the long-term as well as within their physical prime. A Maxey trade was exceedingly not likely anyway, and also from what I have actually heard until now in the report mill, the Sixers aren’t particularly near any type of actions at the moment.).

Anyway, Merry Christmas to everybody, I guess. Try not to obtain also developed regarding something that we have 7 months to pick apart, and enjoy your time with your families. We’ll dive a lot more into this as quickly as we can.

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Resources: phillyvoice

Last Updated: 26 December 2022