The Philadelphia 76ers are reported to be ending trade talks for All-Star guard James Harden.
The team intends to return him to his training camp this coming season after the failure of an agreement with his favorite destination, the Los Angeles Clippers, according to what he reported. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Harden had been awaiting a trade from Philadelphia since late June, when he picked up a $35.6 million player option and the Sixers reportedly agreed to consider a deal to send him elsewhere. The former MVP was determined to join the Clippers, but talks between the two sides moved at an icy pace.
Now, the Sixers are hoping Harden is either viable to return to Philadelphia or has already secured his agreement to end trade talks. Either way, it would be an embarrassing situation for an experienced player in such cases. This may have been a Sixers clout for all we know, but there’s a reason why his departure feels like a foregone conclusion.
A former MVP, Harden averaged 21.0 points, 10.7 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game last season while shooting 44.1% from the field (38.5% from depth). He led the NBA in assists, assisting fellow superstar Joel Embiid to the MVP campaign, but the playoffs saw another disappearance.
Harden averaged 34.7 points per game in the Sixers’ three wins against the Boston Celtics in the second round series…and 12.5 in the team’s four losses. He scored just nine points on 3-of-11 shooting with seven assists and five turnovers in a Game 7 loss.
Now, because the Clippers are apparently refusing to pay, the Sixers are indicating that they want it back. We’ll see if that works for them, or if Harden was up for it in the first place.