Should the Philadelphia 76ers run it back with James Harden?

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Thursday, July 6, 2023
Should the Sixers run it back with Harden?
Should the Sixers run it back with Harden? The answer might determine the trajectory of this franchise for years to come.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Should James Harden stay or should he go?

It's an interesting, tricky question that will determine the trajectory of this franchise for years to come.

As with most things, an argument could be made on either side.

Harden recently opted into his $35.6 million player option.

The thinking is that he did it so that the Sixers and he could have time to find a trade partner - one that would give Harden the multi-year, max contract he desires.

Thus far, that hasn't happened. And, on the surface, it doesn't appear the Sixers want to give him one.

If Harden stays in a Sixers uniform, they would be getting back the player who led the league in assists last season at 10.7 per game.

They would also likely get a motivated James Harden. Why? Because playing on that one-year deal would mean Harden would have to prove himself if he's going to get one more major payday - whether it's here or with another team.

The cons to bringing Harden back? There are so many.

While he was steady and consistent during the regular season, he was anything but during that playoff series against Boston.

And he was awful in the last two games, which ultimately sent the Sixers home.

Harden will also be 34 when the season begins.

He's not the MVP Harden from five years ago. And Harden has given up on teams before; in Houston and Brooklyn.

With that said, should they bring him back?

I say cut your losses now and punt.

Daryl Morey and the Sixers' front office should get what they can for Harden.

Don't try to hold out for a King's ransom.

We're still more than two months away from the start of training camp.

Perhaps the Sixers can wait and find a team willing to bite. I see no reason to run it back.