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Report: James Harden ‘expected’ to report to Sixers training camp, but ‘still intends to play for the Clippers’

“Harden’s side is very much of the belief joining the Clippers is not a matter of if, but when,” wrote Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in three seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers are entangled in the ramifications of a trade request from their starting point guard following a Game 7, second-round loss months prior. This time, it’s James Harden, not Ben Simmons, and waves of reports from various newsbreakers continue to circulate.

The latest is from Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, who largely reinforced what’s out there already regarding the Harden situation. He did, however, provide a couple noteworthy tidbits, namely that “Harden is expected to report to training camp in the fall” and said he’s “well practiced ... in conduct that can drive a team toward relenting and finally moving on from the talented guard.”

“You can cause far more headaches for the organization you’re trying to leave by showing up, as opposed to staying home. With both the [Houston] Rockets and [Brooklyn] Nets, Harden made various trips away from the team for various nightlife activities,” Fischer wrote. “He made Brooklyn feel it had no other option but to trade him to the Sixers before the 2022 trade deadline, or risk losing him for nothing. With Philadelphia, Harden’s side is very much of the belief joining the Clippers is not a matter of if, but when.

Fischer noted that Harden’s steadfast focus on the Clippers has quieted Philadelphia’s negotiations with other teams around the league involving any potential deal netting them the 10-time All-Star.

“There has been no substantial trade conversation for Philadelphia regarding Harden and any other team, sources said, as rival front offices have been briefed on Harden’s unwavering focus on the Clippers and the Clippers alone,” Fischer wrote. “The 76ers have held talks with other teams and have established their high asking price for the league’s assist leader.”

Fischer reported that Harden’s side believes Los Angeles’ potential trade package, headlined by Terance Mann and Norman Powell, as well as “a collection of usable contracts and first-round draft capital,” could help maintain the championship window the Sixers wish to preserve in any deal sending away their point guard.

“Philadelphia hasn’t shared that purview,” Fischer wrote. “And by all accounts, the Clippers don’t have interest in parting with Mann.”

Earlier this week, Sixers general manager Daryl Morey appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic and detailed how he’s approaching these trade talks surrounding Harden.

“If we do look at a trade, it’s going to be for one of two things: a player who is going to help us be right there like we were last year, or we’re going to trade for picks that we can use to turn into a player that can be a running mate with Joel [Embiid],” Morey said. “If we can’t get that then we are not going to do it.”

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