President of basketball operations Daryl Morey — supposedly tight with Harden since their days together with the Rockets — is reportedly among the reasons Harden wants to leave. Per Amick, Morey is not looking to make a Harden trade at the moment.
But that has not changed Harden’s mindset after he exercised the one-year, $36.5 million option on his contract for next season.
“Harden’s stance has not changed, a source close to him told The Athletic,” Amick wrote. “He still wants to leave Philadelphia. He’s still upset with how Morey handled his situation heading into possible free agency last month. And even with the recent revelation that Harden attended the same NBPA party as Sixers co-star Joel Embiid and former Sixers owner Michael Rubin in Vegas, he’s still determined to start next season in a Clippers jersey.”
Amick went on to describe trade talks between the Sixers and Clippers as “sluggish.”
Embiid, for one, has made it clear he hopes Harden has a change of heart and returns to Philadelphia.
“Disappointed,” Embiid told Rachel Nichols of Showtime of Harden’s trade request. “But then again, I also understand it’s business, people make decisions and I’m more appreciative of the way he’s handled the whole situation. We’re gonna be boys forever. Want him to come back obviously, so we can go out and accomplish what we want which is to win a championship.
“So hopefully his mindset can be changed. But other than that, I’m just so happy to be his friend. We’re close and we’ve grown since he got here and that’s what I’m excited about. And I’m excited to keep that friendship for the rest of our lives.”