James Harden ”torn” between Sixers & Rockets

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers, right, talks to James Harden during the second half of Game 4 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, Saturday, April 22, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Philadelphia 76ers are once again in the midst of a crucial offseason after yet another second-round failure. The biggest question surrounds James Harden and his free agency decision.

It has already been reported that Harden is expected to decline his $35.6 million player. What remains to be seen is where Harden decides to hitch his wagon. The two favorites who are, and continue to be, considered the favorites to sign the ten-time All-Star are the Sixers and Harden’s former team, the Houston Rockets.

Houston has continuously been connected to Harden, and while it initially seemed to be little more than a bargaining tactic. As time has gone on, the concept of Harden returning to his old stomping ground – where his family continues to reside – has become more and more believable.

James Harden is “torn” on where his future lies

James harden
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, left, drives between Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden and Tyrese Maxey (0) during the first half of Game 2 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series, Wednesday, May 3, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Harden appears to be ”torn” on a potential decision. Charania appeared on the Ryen Russillo Podcast (timestamp 9:19) on Tuesday to discuss his thoughts on Harden’s current mindset as it relates to his upcoming free agency decision:

“I don’t think he knows, as far as what I know about his mindset… I really think that he’s torn with the prospect of staying in Philadelphia or moving on to Houston potentially and returning back to his home. That’s where his roots are, his family is there, of course. They’ve got upwards of [$60 million in cap space], they could make even more money available – close to $70 million in cap space – so they’re going to have a ton of money. And I think this is a team, in Houston where, I do believe they’re going to be aggressive in the marketplace.”

There is still roughly a month until this decision will be made, but it’s seeming more and more likely that it will come down to the wire.

More news to come as it breaks.

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II