NBA teams, particularly Philadelphia, that think James Harden will be available at the midseason trade deadline, well, the Brooklyn Nets have a jumper they’d like to sell you.
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The Nets have made it clear they won’t consider any offers for their All-Star guard, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 76ers have been chasing Harden, hoping to reunite him with Daryl Morey, and have an All-Star of their own that they could dangle as trade bait on Ben Simmons. There was even talk that the Sixers would be prepared to hold on to Simmons until the summer to make a deal with the Nets for the 2018 NBA MVP.
Nets owner Joe Tsai, along with general manager Sean Marks, are confident that Harden’s insistence that he is committed to winning a championship in Brooklyn is enough to justify refusing to listen to proposals from other clubs.
In his 13-year career, Harden has never been a free agent, and during the preseason he refused to sign an extension, deferring his decision until the summer of 2022, when he will be a free agent for the first time in his career. He has a player option for 2022-23 on the four-year deal he signed while a member of the Houston Rockets.
James Harden on not signing an extension: “The contract, the money is going to be there. I do not plan to leave this organization and the situation we have. My focus is on the season and winning a championship. The contract and all of that will play out as it should.” pic.twitter.com/Dugwr89CD5
– Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) October 20, 2021
To stay with the Nets on a long-term deal, Harden could opt out of his $47.4 million contract for 2022-23 and sign a four-year, $223 million extension early in free agency.
MORE: Nets superstar reportedly unhappy
A report by Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report on Tuesday further fueled the fire that Harden was unhappy in New York, for a number of reasons ranging from the weather to unhappiness with Kyrie Irving’s part-time status, in addition to be dissatisfied with state income. taxes in New York, too.
After Tuesday night’s loss to the Lakers, Harden said his frustration was with the current situation of the team.
“Of course I’m frustrated that we’re not healthy,” Harden said. “There’s a lot of inconsistency for whatever reason. Injuries, COVID, whatever you want to call it. But yeah, it’s frustrating. I think everyone in this organization is frustrated that we’re better than our record is and we should be in the lead.”
He added: “If you didn’t hear it from me, I don’t talk to anyone. I have an agent. If you didn’t hear it from me, then it’s reports.”
Harden is averaging 23.0 points, 10.1 assists and 8.1 rebounds for the Nets this season.