ESPN’s Brian Windhorst appeared on the network’s daily show “The Jump” on Wednesday and offered his analysis of the current situation. He indicated (at the 53-second mark) that the strong play from the 76ers’ duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons is one reason why a trade by the Sixers now seems less likely to happen.
“Right now, at 3-1 and Embiid and Simmons playing like this, I would say they’re farther away from a Harden trade than they were two weeks ago,” Windhorst said.
Harden has at least two years remaining on his contract that will pay him over $85 million during that short span. In addition, he holds a player option of $47.37 million for the 2022-23 season.
While any team acquiring Harden would get a scoring machine, his individual success hasn’t been met with any NBA titles over the course of his career.
The Harden-to-Philadelphia rumors have largely flourished since the Sixers named former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey as the president of basketball operations.
However, it seems clear that Morey’s likely interest in acquiring Harden may have to be tempered if the 76ers continue to thrive this season.