Following his notable absence on media day, James Harden has joined the Philadelphia 76ers at training camp in Fort Collins, Colorado, participating in drills during each of the first two days of practice. But that doesn’t mean he’s a happy camper.
According to a recent report from The Athletic’s Sam Amick, Harden’s trade request still stands despite him being “an engaged and positive participant” at training camp. Head decision-maker Daryl Morey has refused, thus far, to send Harden to his desired destination of the LA Clippers, making it clear that he won’t make a move until his price tag is met.
To that point, Morey and the 76ers reportedly rejected a Clippers offer earlier this summer. Per Amick:
The Clippers offered the Sixers an unprotected first-round pick, a pick swap and salaries for Harden in July, league sources say, but Philadelphia has set a much higher threshold. The Sixers have valued fifth-year forward Terance Mann and multiple first-round picks in a potential trade with the Clippers, sources added. Mann, who averaged 8.8 points and 3.4 rebounds a season ago, has become a prospect of interest for teams over the past couple years.
As the Clippers scramble to put together a more attractive package, they’ve contacted several teams about moving pick swaps to gain additional draft capital, according to Amick’s report. Parting with Mann would be tough, as the energetic 26-year-old can fill multiple roles and is a 38% 3-point shooter for his career. He’s also one of the few Clippers who has been able to stay on the court consistently, missing just two games over the past two seasons.
It’s a good news/bad news situation for Harden. On one hand, he must be happy that there’s still enough interest from the Clippers for them to be exploring additional avenues for a trade. On the other hand, he can’t be pleased to see that the two sides are still far away with the regular season set to begin in less than three weeks.
By participating in camp, Harden is avoiding being fined, like we saw with Ben Simmons a couple years ago. Amick also reports that Harden believes that causing a distraction would not be his best course of action as he holds out hope that a trade is on the horizon.
“He’s here. He’s practicing with us, and, you know, that’s all we know,” Joel Embiid said of Harden on Thursday. “But like I said, we’re not focused on that. We’re just trying to focus on getting the offense together, and the defense together, figuring out how to play together.”