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At the end of June, Philadelphia 76ers point guard James Harden exercised his $35.6 million player option with the request to be traded, ideally to the Los Angeles Clippers. Roughly two months removed from that decision and about two months away from the start of the 2023-24 NBA season, nothing has materialized. Philadelphia intends to begin training camp with Harden in the fold. Harden intends to make life uncomfortable for the organization and force its hand so he can play elsewhere.
Sixers fans are acquainted with a situation like this, when Ben Simmons requested a trade two summers ago, did not take part in training camp or any regular season games and was finally dealt just before the trade deadline in February 2021. According to a recent poll, fans seem to think the proceedings will play out similarly to the Simmons ordeal — at least in one way. Only 36 percent of respondents expect Harden to be dealt prior to Philadelphia’s regular season opener on October 26.
Sixers training camp will kick off in early October, at which point the tension between the two sides could really ratchet up. It’ll be fascinating to see how everything shakes out and what Philadelphia’s roster looks like when they face the Milwaukee Bucks to start the year.