Two days after it was reported that the Philadelphia 76ers ended trade talks involving James Harden, the 10-time All-Star guard ripped 76ers president Daryl Morey.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said during an Adidas media event in China. “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.”
On Saturday, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the 76ers planned to bring Harden back to training camp and for the start of the season, setting up an uncomfortable situation with the unhappy star.
The Sixers had periodic offseason conversations with the LA Clippers — Harden’s desired destination — but no traction on a deal materialized, sources said.
The Sixers agreed to search out a trade upon Harden’s request after he agreed to pick up his $35.6 million player option in June, but the Sixers’ asking price was steep, and no teams, including the Clippers, were willing or able to meet it, sources said.
Harden’s unhappiness with Morey stems over the lack of a long-term maximum-level contract offer, sources said, and the team risks the possibility of Harden’s arrival at training camp bringing anything but a championship mindset. Morey was Houston’s longtime GM during Harden’s eight-plus seasons with the Rockets
Philadelphia believes it will be a championship contender with Harden’s return alongside MVP center Joel Embiid, and the team is determined to find a way to make it work with Harden this season, sources said.