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With 76ers ending trade talks involving James Harden, what's next?

With 76ers ending trade talks involving James Harden, what's next?

James Harden has made it clear that he wants to be traded prior to the start of the 2023-24 season, preferably to the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Philadelphia 76ers have ended all trade talks involving the former MVP, sources tell ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

While the Sixers had some conversations with the Clippers and other squads, no team has been willing to meet the asking price set by general manager Daryl Morey and his staff.

Harden requested a trade back in June when he picked up his $35.6 million player option, but the Sixers now "plan to bring him back to training camp for the start of the season, setting up an uncomfortable situation with the unhappy star," Wojnarowski writes.

The Sixers believe that Harden, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Co. are a legitimate championship contender, so they want to make this work and keep their core together.

Will Harden report to training camp? According to The Athletic's Sam Amick, that seems unlikely. Harden "no longer wants to play for Philadelphia and has no plans of taking part in training camp," a source close to Harden told Amick.

Back in 2020, when the Houston Rockets didn't trade Harden prior to the start of the season, the disgruntled star showed up late to training camp, telling reporters that he was training on his own in Atlanta and Las Vegas.

Then, once the season started, Harden complained about his teammates, saying the Rockets were "just not good enough — chemistry, talentwise, just everything." This upset some of his then-Rockets teammates, including veteran center DeMarcus Cousins.

"The disrespect started way before any interview," Cousins told reporters. "Just the approach to training camp, showing up the way he did, the antics off the court. I mean, the disrespect started way before. So this isn't something all of a sudden happened last night... It is completely unfair to the rest of the guys in the locker room."

Could we see a similar situation play out in Philadelphia if Harden isn't traded by the start of the season? It remains to be seen.

It's also worth pointing out that Morey showed throughout the Ben Simmons saga that he has no problem fining an absent player and staying patient until he finds a suitable trade.

Last season, the 10-time All-Star averaged 21 points, 10.7 assists, 6.1 rebounds, 2.8 threes and 1.2 steals, while shooting 44.1% from the field, 38.5% from three-point range and 86.7% from the free-throw line.

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