The Sixers Are Expected To ‘Pursue’ James Harden, But The Rockets Call It ‘A Non-Starter’

Back when the Philadelphia 76ers were linked to now-former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, rumblings popped up that the team might try to find a way to pursue James Harden sometime during his tenure. D’Antoni ended up not getting hired (and is now in Brooklyn on Steve Nash’s staff), but the Sixers still brought on board an ex-member of the Rockets’ brass, and as a result, the Harden rumors still exist.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reports that following Philly’s decision to hire Daryl Morey, the team is not only expected to be interested in making a move for Harden, they will go as far as to pursue it. The downside for the Sixers, though, is that the Rockets apparently view moving the former league MVP a non-starter.

It is the least surprising thing on earth that Houston would pour water on any and all suggestions that they could trade Harden, as he is their franchise player and the person upon whom their hopes of winning a championship rests. Additionally, it would be a bit tricky to justify moving Harden while Russell Westbrook is still around, both because of how he’d fit with any of the four players the Sixers would need to include in this deal and because keeping Westbrook around in this scenario would be odd.

Morey is always going to make calls for anyone and everyone, so it is unsurprising that this report exists. As for whether it happens any time soon, that seems a little more unlikely.