James Harden has turned on And will repeat Whenever he was asked about his relationship with Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Darryl Murray It cannot be repairedAnd he has shown that he is willing to do almost anything to escape.
Harden will keep the pressure on Murraywho seems clueless about how that kind of distraction will affect the players on the roster if Harden arrives in training camp in early October.
The NBA is a communication business, and the Harden-Murray trade has paid off for Murray, who earned the label “genius” by poaching Harden from Oklahoma City before the start of the 2012-13 season.
That paved the way for Harden to carry it Houston Rockets For nearly a decade, Murry Qadis has championed a certain type of manager. But his blind spot has always been people’s business. It’s long been accepted that emotional attachments can lead to biased decisions, but failing to acknowledge the domino effect on other players and teams will cost someone in the end.
However it ends, could it cost Murray and the Philadelphia 76ers the services of one? Joel Embiid?
Embiid has said all the right things publicly, though There must be some fatigue left over from his entire experience with the 76ers. Morey has only been responsible for the last few years, but overall, many around the league believe Embiid is asking for it sooner than later — and a full rebuild is what Morey is secretly hoping for.
If Murray knows Harden better than anyone and vice versa, he knows what’s coming. Will Harden attend training camp?
“Why wouldn’t he? When you know what chaos he can cause just by showing up,” a league source familiar with Harden’s camp told Yahoo Sports.
The new collective bargaining agreement puts Harden where he should be in free agency next summer, and of course, he’ll want every dollar he got for the deal he willingly cut last summer. was, collect.
But the difference is that Harden probably knows that his standing in the public eye won’t really change, and he doesn’t come across as someone who cares if his opinion of him sinks to lower levels.
However, another preseason distraction could turn commissioner Adam Silver into copper and send the reigning MVP over the edge and into Murray’s office to plead with him.
“Everybody’s hanging around, waiting. particle for direct object Knicks Miami is keeping an eye on everything, a league source told Yahoo Sports.
For Murray, a defeat would be better than another outright defeat in the East. She Doc threw Rivers into the sea This summer, and it’s worth noting that the 76ers haven’t gotten any closer to the East Finals since Murray took over — when he wasn’t running things. Kawhi Leonard‘s bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce floated Toronto Raptors It reached new heights in 2019, and the 76ers have squandered at least two opportunities since then.
Contrary to popular belief, Murray is not fixated on getting the Clippers guard, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Trans Mann Harden is back on a deal, but eager for future first-round picks with the so-called “seven-year rule.”
The Clippers’ first-round picks for the next few years are entirely owed to, or because of, Oklahoma City Paul George Traded in 2019, but Clippers own picks in 2027 and ’28.
Murray is believed to want them more than Mann’s productivity — which would be affordable in the single digits over the next two years ($10.5 million in 23-24, $11.4 million in 24-25).
Another loss for the 76ers could lead Murray to believe he has time to rebuild from the mess he helped create, starting with the Simmons debacle and now the Harden mess.
Embiid will turn 30 in March, and by comparison, the primes of Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson all occurred before that number. The exception, Hakeem Olajuwon, played his best championship basketball at age 31 and 32, but before that, he took substandard Houston Rockets teams farther than they should have.
Is Murray willing to take that risk with Embiid, especially with how analytical his mind is?
It’s hard to say.
But Harden will push to make things unbearable during this time. In Harden’s eyes, the answer to any question will point to Murray’s unreliability, and Murray and the 76ers will have to endure the rollercoaster every day until the pressure is off.
But it will only be released if Harden is released. Again, it follows a pattern from Harden that he can’t run from, but one only runs if it matters to them.
Feelings about Harden have gone so far in the other direction, it’s easy to forget that he’s still a very useful player. While it would be foolish to call him an MVP-in-waiting, it would be equally foolish to assume he has been influential.
He led the league in assists last season, shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point range on over seven attempts per game.
His close games in the playoffs speak for themselves as a collection of disappointments and unfulfilled expectations. However, he delivered two 40 balls Unlike Celtics In his second round match this spring.
If his previous credit report in the playoffs is any indication, those games qualify as collateral.
“To use a baseball analogy, he’s a middle reliever,” one Western Conference top executive told Yahoo Sports. You can’t count on him to close, but he will eat up the innings in the regular season. If nothing else, he loves to play, that’s what you hear.
Harden wants the Clippers, the Clippers want Harden — with Harden and several players talking about wanting to play together. Relying on Harden to become the second-best player on a championship team is a risk — but what about the third?
He’s playing heavy minutes, while George and Leonard likely built it up for May and June if they want to be available.
Neither has received an extension from the Clippers this summer, and neither side appears to be in a rush to do so, but the smart money says they’ll get a three-year deal with Harden as he approaches his mid-30s. . .
If George and Leonard aren’t healthy, it doesn’t matter what Harden does or doesn’t do in that time frame.
But that’s not Murray’s concern here, as he finds himself out of leverage, out of an ally with perhaps another not far behind, and perhaps running out of time.