James Harden wants out of Philadelphia. But is staying the best option for both parties?

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Thursday, July 20, 2023
Will James Harden get his trade wish or stay in Philly?
Much like when Ben Simmons wanted out, the Sixers won't give James Harden away. So prepare to see No. 1 in the lineup come opening day.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- James Harden wants out of the Philadelphia 76ers.

But all signs point to Harden being back in with the Sixers this upcoming season.

In a recent local radio interview, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey confirmed that Harden has requested a trade.

Why? Well Harden is looking for more than the one-year, $35.6 million player option he exercised.

He wants a lucrative, multi-year contract - that the Sixers are not willing to give him. That's good business on Morey's part.

Harden turns 34 next month.

His best years are, almost certainly, behind him.

Citing their long history, Morey says he will try to work with Harden to find him a new home. But there's an asterisk there.

Morey will not do it if it's to the detriment of the team.

"If we can do something that is win-win, helps the Sixers, then we will look at it. If we can't, then we won't," Morey said.

That's also called good business.

And keep in mind, the Sixers don't have to do anything.

If Harden stays and he's motivated to play for his next contract - that could help the Sixers.

RELATED: Sources: Ben Simmons credited year of service for holdout season

Morey showed some patience a couple of years ago when the Ben Simmons drama unfolded.

He let the season begin and waited until the trade deadline to deal. And he was able to get Harden for Simmons, who was probably never going to play a minute for this team.

Prepare to see a similar plan play out with Harden, who will likely start the season here with Joel Embiid. But how long he will stay, only Morey will know.