Mercurial star James Harden is unhappy again and has been seeking a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, with the Knicks among the teams that have shown interest.
76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey told Harden in August that he would “make a good faith effort” to deal him, reports ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, who notes that the Sixers had “initial conversations” about Harden with the Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers.
However, ESPN notes that Morey and the Sixers quickly abandoned their efforts to trade Harden after the offers weren’t good enough, which led to him blasting Morey at an event on Aug. 14 in China.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never play for an organization he is a part of again,” Harden said, having been of the belief that Morey would deal him after he picked up his player option for the 2023-24 season.
SNY’s Ian Begley reported earlier this summer that New York’s interest in Harden was “far from uniform throughout the organization.”
Begley added that the only way a deal for Haden made sense from a Knicks perspective was if Philadelphia was willing to move Harden for a minimal return.
The Sixers are in turmoil, with the futures of Harden and perennial MVP candidate Joel Embiid uncertain.
Harden, who is entering his age-34 season, averaged 21 points and a league-leading 10.7 assists in 2022-23 for Philadelphia.
He will earn $35.64 million in 2023-24, and is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.