All does not appear to be sunny in Philadelphia. Just days after it was reported that the Philadelphia 76ers are ending trade talks with the Los Angeles Clippers for disgruntled All-Star guard James Harden, the former league MVP publicly criticized Sixers president Daryl Morey.
During an event in China, Harden didn’t mince words about where he stood with Morey.
“Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said to a room full of people in a video obtained by Shams Charania. “Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be 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
This comes just two days after it was reported that instead of trying to fulfill Harden’s trade request, the team instead intends on bringing him to training camp. It’s a potentially detrimental move for the Sixers, but given Morey’s history of standing firm when he feels there isn’t a worthwhile trade on the table, it’s not surprising.
The same happened when former Sixers guard Ben Simmons requested a trade from the team in 2021. The ordeal was dragged out for months, and Simmons sat out half a season before a trade was agreed to. While the Sixers ultimately got the deal they wanted, which ironically landed them Harden, it came at the expense of unwanted drama around the team for half a season.
With Harden now going public with his feelings toward Morey, a similar situation could play out once again in Philadelphia.
Harden opted in to his $35.6 million player option on June 29, right before free agency started, but then immediately requested a trade from the Sixers. This was after months of reported rumors that the guard could consider a move to his former team, the Houston Rockets. But this surprising decision was done with the intention of landing on his hometown team, the Clippers, which has been viewed as the only team really bidding for the former league MVP’s services.
Now, though, it appears the Sixers are willing to wait this thing out in hopes of landing a better deal. The Clippers have reportedly been against including guard Terance Mann in a deal for Harden, but perhaps they change their minds as the season gets closer. There’s also always the possibility that another team jumps into the Harden sweepstakes, especially around the trade deadline in February if this isn’t resolved.