James Harden Was Told By 76ers He Would Get Max Contract In Offseason

James Harden, Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers, Sixers, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA trade rumors
NBA Analysis Network

During an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, James Harden said that the Philadelphia 76ers told him he would get a max contract from them in the offseason.

When that max contract was never offered, Harden opted into his player option and requested a trade.

Amick: So you mention the financial part, and I was hoping you could clarify one aspect of that situation. Were you actually told by the Sixers that you had that deal coming?

Harden: A max?

Amick: Yeah.

Harden: Yeah.

That was said by Daryl Morey?

Harden: Yes. Yes.

Harden and Morey used to have a very close relationship. However, Harden doesn’t plan to speak to Morey ever again after everything that happened in the offseason.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers Updates

“Yeah, me and Daryl had a really good relationship,” Harden said. “So (in the past), a week or two after we lose in the playoffs, it would be all about trying to figure out how to improve the team. (They’d talk about) ‘How do we get better?’ And that’s been going on for 10-plus years, you know what I mean? And then this year, there was no communication. And at that point, it’s like, ‘OK, I see what’s going on.’ I’m very intelligent. So then I just figure out ‘What’s my next move, and what do I want to do?’ So I understand that, at the end of the day, this is a business. And just like he has to do what’s best for his organization, I’ve got to do what’s best for me and my family. It’s as simple as that.”

Harden becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. He thought he would retire with the Sixers since he was so close to Morey, but that relationship no longer exists.

“Yeah. It surprised the hell out of me, you know what I mean? I looked at it like a marriage,” Harden said. “We talked about a lot of s—. And we’ve got a lot of s— that, in front of people’s eyes, you don’t know or understand. But instead of (Morey) having a conversation with me (about free agency) or saying, ‘All right James, we don’t want to offer you this, but we have this.’ Then we go back and forth, and that’s a dialogue. But you just ice me out? Then it’s like, you don’t respect me as much as I thought you did. You don’t need people like that, you know what I mean? So it’s just bad karma. People were throwing dirt on my name, but the good guys always win.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers Updates

The Sixers traded Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers. Harden is averaging 15.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 14 games with the Clippers.

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