Home 76ers Rockets Remain in the Mix for 76ers’ James Harden This Summer

Rockets Remain in the Mix for 76ers’ James Harden This Summer

The Rockets are “very much in play” for 76ers guard James Harden during the free agency period, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, via RealGM.James Harden rives by Cam Johnson

This is the first time Wojnarowski and others have mentioned a Harden return to Houston as a possibility. Wojnarowski first linked Harden to the Rockets back in February.

Much of what happens next could be contingent on what the Sixers do in the playoffs, it seems.

“James Harden’s future is very unclear in Philadelphia,” Wojnarowski said. “Houston is very much in play for him. And I think a lot may depend on [whether] they make a run and win and it’s easy to pay him long-term big money, or he just wants to be in Houston. Win or lose he goes, or it’s dependent on the team’s success.”

The Rockets, of course, are in a rebuilding phase, with a shot to win the NBA Draft Lottery and the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. They are also seeking a new coach after parting ways with Stephen Silas.

Word is, the Rockets intend to hire a veteran coach, with former Lakers coach Frank Vogel and ex-Celtics coach Ime Udoka among the reported candidates.

Harden re-signed with the Sixers last offseason on a two-year, $68.6 million deal, but many expected him to decline the player option on the contract ahead of free agency.

The Rockets are expected to be in heavy pursuit if that’s the case.

“From an emotional standpoint, sources with knowledge of his thinking continue to maintain that while Harden’s head and focus are on winning a championship with the 76ers, his heart will always be in Houston,” Sam Amick and Kelly Iko of The Athletic recently wrote. “It’s a comfort zone, his safe space.”

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