He reportedly wants the Brooklyn Nets to trade him and the Philadelphia 76ers are the team that comes up in every rumor.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski offered an update Thursday morning declaring Harden wants out, but that he doesn’t want the public backlash of demanding yet another trade a year after doing the same with the Houston Rockets.
"I'm told that James Harden wants a trade to the 76ers. He wants it to happen today prior to the trade deadline. But he has resisted formally requesting that trade with the Nets organization."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 10, 2022
“He wants it to happen today prior to the trade deadline, but he has resisted formally requesting that trade with the Nets organization. I’m told he fears the backlash of asking out of his second team in successive seasons.”
The problem now for Harden is that the backlash he fears may come regardless because of the way the news has leaked out to the media.
Will A Trade Happen?
The two teams would have to play some salary cap gymnastics to get a deal done.
But it is still entirely possible that Harden gets swapped for Ben Simmons in a blockbuster deal.
The only problem is that the two sides, according to Wojnarowski, have not been engaged in serious trade discussions.
Harden's hopeful Morey secures trade for him today, but Morey and Sean Marks have yet to become engaged in serious dialogue on a deal. There’s an expectation sides will talk today and possibility of deal remains. Both teams are left measuring the risk-reward of a Harden deal now. https://t.co/WeyG7q8Eee
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 10, 2022
It would appear someone has been leaking information about Harden’s desire for a trade when the teams involved aren’t even talking.
Public pressure is a powerful thing and it could get a move done.
But let’s say nothing happens and Harden stays with the Nets.
Will it derail the rest of the season?
That is tough to figure out and he at least has the sense to reportedly realize making another trade request would hurt his reputation.
A likely scenario if he stays would be just riding the year out and signing elsewhere in the summer, regardless of how the season ends.
Yet if he gets traded, the entire landscape of the East can change in an instant.