Report: Philadelphia 76ers tell James Harden to stay home ahead of season opener vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers star point guard James Harden reported back to the team for practice on Wednesday after stepping away for 10 days.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania hopped on FanDuel’s NBA show “Run It Back” to discuss the news.

“James Harden reported back to the 76ers’ facility today,” he said. “So, 10 days he was away, and James Harden is back. But, he’s been out for the last 10 days. He hasn’t been a part of any team activities. He has only done one five-on-five this entire last month of training camp, has not played in preseason. So, I don’t expect to see James Harden on the floor anytime soon, but he has returned to the team.”

The 76ers have reportedly requested that Harden not travel with the team for Thursday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks and Saturday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

Harden asked for a trade from the 76ers all the way back in late June. But the team has not granted his wish, and approximately four months removed from his trade request, he is still a member of the 76ers.

The 34-year-old floor general has played for the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Brooklyn Nets and 76ers since the Thunder drafted him with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft.

He averaged 21.0 points, 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from behind the 3-point line across 58 appearances with the 76ers organization during the 2022-23 regular season.

While Harden is still one of the better point guards in the NBA today, he enjoyed the best seasons of his pro career when he was a member of the Rockets. He earned eight All-Star nods in his eight-plus seasons with Houston and led the team to multiple Western Conference Finals appearances.

Harden was arguably the best scorer in the NBA during a three-season stint with Houston, from the 2017-18 season through the 2019-20 season. Remarkably, he led the league in scoring in each of those three seasons and averaged an unbelievable 36.1 points per game for the Rockets during the 2018-19 regular season.

But Harden requested a trade out of Houston in the 2020-21 season and was subsequently dealt to the Nets, where he teamed up with stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Only time will tell if Harden’s decision to report to practice on Wednesday means that he wants to remain with the 76ers.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.