James Harden Doesn’t Hold Back About Rockets Rumors

James Harden, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Philadelphia 76ers look like they will be one of the teams contending for an NBA championship this season. While their offense is only slightly above average thus far, they have an elite defense and one of the best net ratings in the NBA.

Their offensive production should improve once Tyrese Maxey can get back in the lineup. He has been sidelined since November 18th, when he injured his left foot against the Milwaukee Bucks. Having James Harden back playing at a high level is certainly helping offset the loss as well.

Last season Harden looked lethargic on the court, unable to produce at the level in the 76ers needed to be legitimate contenders. He dealt with injuries during the offseason and throughout the 2021-22 campaign, which likely limited his impact on the court.

With a fully healthy offseason, Harden came out on fire before an injury of his own slowed his production and eventually sidelined him. Alas, since returning, he has picked right back up where he left off, as he is averaging 22.0 points, 11.2 assists, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in 38.2 minutes per game.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Houston Rockets Updates

Recently, there have been some waves made about where his future could be. Harden opted out of his contract during the 2022 offseason and instead of signing a lucrative long-term max deal, he took a pay cut. That enabled Daryl Morey to make more additions to the roster and hold onto a player such as Tobias Harris.

Alas, that contract has another opt-out after this season. Many people are expecting him to exercise it and seek another long-term deal. Could that deal come from one of his old teams, the Houston Rockets?

Rumors have swirled that he could return there as a free agent in 2023 should he decline his player option as many are presuming he will. Harden was asked about it on Christmas and didn’t acknowledge the rumors.

“Why would you ask me about that on Christmas, man?… You didn’t say Merry Christmas or nothing. You asked me about something that I ain’t even… I’m not answering. I didn’t see nothing.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Houston Rockets Updates

An answer like that isn’t all too surprising. Harden is focused on this season and winning with the 76ers. When the time comes to decide his future, that is when he will give it all of his energy and focus.

If winning championships is his No. 1 goal, which has been shared recently as well, the Rockets are likely far down his list of prospective landing spots. They are still early in their rebuild and even if they signed Harden would have plenty of work to do before being considered contenders in the Western Conference.

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