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The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly have faith they may have the ability to re-sign celebrity guard James Harden regardless of his rumored curiosity in returning to the Houston Rockets.
In response to Sam Amick and Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the Sixers are “unconcerned” about Harden leaving in free company attributable to their perception that no different staff can provide him the mix of championship rivalry and most incomes potential.
In December, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Harden was “severely contemplating” a return to Houston if he did not signal a brand new cope with Philly in the course of the offseason.
Wojnarowski added that Harden and his camp had been “overtly weighing” the potential for returning to Houston over the course of a number of months.
Harden started his NBA profession with the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, however he loved his biggest success after getting traded to the Rockets in 2012. Harden spent eight-plus seasons in Houston and was named an All-Star every of these years.
He additionally gained three consecutive scoring titles with the Rockets, was the 2017-18 NBA MVP and averaged 29.6 factors, 7.7 assists and 6.0 rebounds throughout his time with the group.
Harden requested a commerce out of Houston in late 2020 and the Rockets finally traded him to the Brooklyn Nets, however his tenure in Brooklyn was short-lived. After solely 13 months, the Nets traded Harden to Philadelphia final season.
Though he hit free company final offseason, Harden determined to remain in Philly, signing a two-year, $68.6 million contract with a participant possibility for 2023-24.
Harden has been extremely productive for the 76ers this season, averaging 21.6 factors, an NBA-leading 10.7 assists, 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 three-pointers made and 1.3 steals per recreation.
With Harden, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris main the way in which, the Sixers are third within the Jap Convention at 39-21 and are thought-about sturdy contenders to vie for an NBA Finals look and title.
A 76ers supply confirmed that profitable is a high precedence for Harden, telling Amick and Iko: “He desires to play basketball and needs to win. If you cannot deal with that, you are within the mistaken enterprise.”
In the meantime, a supply near Harden advised his want to win will not essentially preclude him from going again to Houston, saying: “All the things on this league is leverage. However that does not imply he will not go to Houston.”
The Rockets are the worst staff within the NBA this season at 13-48, however they’ve some thrilling younger items in place and may very well be on the verge of including extra.
Current excessive draft picks Jalen Inexperienced and Jabari Smith Jr. are beginning to come into their very own, and the Rockets may wind up with a 14 % probability to land presumed 2023 No. 1 total draft decide Victor Wembanyama. The 7’4″ Frenchman is arguably the most-hyped NBA prospect since LeBron James, and he may utterly alter the state of the Rockets franchise.
A core of Harden, Wembanyama, Inexperienced and Smith could be a scary proposition for the remainder of the NBA, and it might not be too far outdoors the realm of chance.