Arguably the biggest free agent decision that will happen this summer involves James Harden. By now, the most likely options appear to be set for the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent, as Harden will either return to the Philadelphia 76ers or reunite with the Houston Rockets, the franchise that helped turn him into an NBA MVP.
Trying to figure out Harden’s next move has been difficult, as the reports around both of the teams involved seem to project some amount of optimism that they’ll be able to come to terms on a deal with him. And according to Shams Charania on FanDuel TV’s Run It Back, the guy tasked with making the decision is legitimately torn between his two options.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 7, 2023
“My sense is that James Harden is really torn right now on his free agency decision,” Charania said. “I don’t think he knows, today, which way he’s going to go, but you look at the two teams that it’ll come down to. The Philadelphia 76ers, staying in Philly, or going and returning to Houston — his roots, his family, there in Houston right now. I’m told James Harden is torn on where this is gonna go.”
While the Sixers have the ability to offer Harden a little more money (both teams can give him a 4-year deal) and made a coaching change by bringing in ex-Raptors coach Nick Nurse, the team will need to overcome the fact that Harden continues to have extremely strong ties to where he used to play.