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Philadelphia 76ers

Report: 76ers could look to offload Tobias Harris’ contract to make a run at James Harden in the summer

Tobias Harris
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have been pretty solid to start off the 2021-22 NBA season, as they currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 23-16 record.

However, it seems like they could already be searching for ways to upgrade in the future, according to a recent report.

“So I asked the question, why would they be looking to offload Tobias Harris, and the answer I got, what executives think, and look, Daryl [Morey] could be playing some sort of game,” said ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on a recent episode of his podcast. “When Daryl is trying to do something, you always have to look four steps down. Sometimes you can’t even see what he’s trying to do. Executives think one of their options, it’s not the thing they may be most likely to do, but one of their options is they want to make a run at James Harden next summer. Harden can opt out of his contract, he elected not to extend, obviously there’s the connection with Daryl Morey, they tried to get him in a trade last year. I don’t know whether he would leave the [Brooklyn] Nets. Now by the way, even if you offloaded these two guys, you’d still be taking back money, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that you could have enough money, I think James Harden’s number is like $48 million.”

Harden could become a free agent following this season, as he holds a player option for the 2022-23 campaign.

There’s been no indication that Harden has plans to leave the Nets anytime soon, but things could obviously change between now and the offseason. The 76ers were among the teams that pursued a trade for Harden before the Houston Rockets dealt him to the Nets.

Offloading Harris’ expensive deal could be a tough task for the 76ers. The 29-year-old has two seasons left on his deal following the conclusion of the current campaign.

Harden and Joel Embiid would certainly form a scary duo, but only time will tell if the two stars end up playing together in Philadelphia.


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