James Harden, 76ers fractured relationship in more TROUBLE as NBA opens investigation into superstar’s shocking statements

The NBA has commenced an investigation into the motivations behind Harden's labeling of Daryl Morey as a liar.


James Harden, 76ers fractured relationship in more TROUBLE as NBA opens investigation into superstar’s shocking statements

James Harden and Daryl Morey (Via Getty/Tim Nwachukwu)

The NBA has finally intervened in the drama that has been going on between James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers. Harden called Daryl Morey, the President of Basketball Operations of the 76ers, a ‘liar’ and announced that he would never join an organization where Morey is a part. The NBA doesn’t treat players holding out their services lightly and is notorious for imposing heavy penalties if they fail to fulfill the duties they commit to upon signing a contract with any team.

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According to a report by Senior NBA insider of ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA has started investigating the situation between the two parties. The NBA is investigating why Harden called Morey a liar. They are investigating whether foul play or an under-the-table agreement was made between the two parties regarding a max contract before Harden signed his last contract with the 76ers.

While the reported reasons are that Harden was unhappy, Morey didn’t trade him to the LA Clippers even after he was promised that he’d be traded if he opted into his contract. If this turns out to be the case, the parties won’t face penalties. However, if the reason aligns with the NBA’s suspicion, both parties might receive enforced punishment.

 In the past, the Minnesota Timberwolves encountered a similar incident when they signed Joe Smith to an under-the-table deal, resulting in the team losing five first-round picks (1 was later reinstated). 

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What consequences can James Harden face if he holds out?

The 76ers and James Harden fiasco have been in the limelight ever since Harden called Morey a liar in front of a crowd while on tour in China, where he was promoting his signature sneaker line. Harden further declared his refusal to play for a franchise with Morey’s involvement and publicly announced his decision to skip the 76ers’ training camp next season. 

76ers deny Harden trade request
James Harden (via ESPN)

The trade situation has created a dire predicament for the 76ers. If Harden doesn’t attend the training camp, the team would lack a competent point guard and a superstar to pair up with their reigning league MVP, Joel Embiid. This potential outcome might not sit well with Embiid, potentially leading him to consider requesting a trade as well. He has previously faced a similar situation with Ben Simmons, which hindered their championship aspirations. Harden could also face severe consequences for his actions if he chooses not to show up.

According to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), if Harden fails to participate in the training camp, the 76ers would have the option to prevent him from signing with any professional basketball organization until they grant consent. This scenario would come into play when he becomes a free agent before the 2024-25 season. With all these circumstances at play, observing how the situation with Harden will unfold remains intriguing.

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