Speaking at an event in China as part of a marketing tour for Adidas, 76ers star James Harden reiterated his desire is to not play for Philadelphia, at least as long as general manager Daryl Morey is there.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden told the crowd in attendance in front of numerous cameras. “Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”
James Harden: “Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.” pic.twitter.com/AmHJ0WwbF2
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 14, 2023
On Saturday, team sources confirmed to The Athletic that Morey and the 76ers have decided to end trade talks involving Harden and that they are expecting him to report to training camp in late September. However, a source close to Harden who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter told The Athletic that Harden’s plans have not changed following his mid-July trade request, and that he currently has no plans of taking part in training camp.
Monday’s comments made that clear.
As The Athletic reported in mid-July, rival executives have long been convinced that Morey was trying to keep Harden in Philadelphia. Harden asked out in late June when his anger over how Morey handled his possible free agency led to his choice to pick up the player option for next season (worth $35.6 million) while simultaneously requesting the trade.
As Morey has said publicly, they are extremely mindful of the need to keep All-Star level talent around big man Joel Embiid and, as a result, refuse to do a deal that leaves the reigning MVP in a worse position to contend for a title. Embiid’s mid-July comments hinting at his own possible exit someday added more fuel to the urgency of this particular situation with Harden.
We will continue to have more on this situation as it develops.
(Photo of Daryl Morey and James Harden: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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