James Harden’s Bold Response to Rocket Rumors

NBA Analytics Network

The Philadelphia 76ers appear to be one of the teams vying for an NBA championship this season. While their offense is only slightly above average so far, they have an elite defense and one of the best net ratings in the NBA.

Their offensive production should improve once Tyrese Maxey can get back into the lineup. He has been sidelined since November 18 when he injured his left foot against the Milwaukee Bucks. The fact that James Harden is playing at a high level again certainly helps to compensate for the loss.

Last season, Harden looked lethargic on the field, unable to produce at the level needed in the 76ers to be legitimate contenders. He struggled with injuries during the off-season and throughout the 2021-2022 season, likely limiting his impact on the field.

With a completely healthy off-season, Harden came on fire before an injury of his own slowed his production and eventually sidelined him. Unfortunately, since his return, he has picked up where he left off as he averages 22.0 points, 11.2 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 38.2 minutes per game.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Houston Rockets Updates

Recently, there have been some waves about where his future might be. Harden canceled his contract during the 2022 off-season and instead of signing a lucrative long-term maximum deal, he took a pay cut. That allowed Daryl Morey to make more additions to the roster and hold on to a player like Tobias Harris.

Unfortunately, that contract has an opt-out again after this season. Many people expect him to exercise it and look for another long-term deal. Could that deal come from one of his old teams, the Houston Rockets?

There are rumors that he could return there as a free agent in 2023 if he declines his player option, as many believe he will. harden was asked about it at Christmas and did not acknowledge the rumours.

“Why would you ask me about that at Christmas, man?… You didn’t say Merry Christmas or anything. You asked me about something I didn’t even… I’m not answering. I did not see anything.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Houston Rockets Updates

Such an answer is not surprising. Harden is focused on this season and winning with the 76ers. When it comes time to decide on his future, he will give all his energy and focus.

If winning championships is his No. 1 goal, which was also shared recently, the Rockets are probably way down at the bottom of his list of potential landing spots. They are still early in their rebuilding and even if they signed, Harden would have plenty of work to do before they are considered Western Conference contenders.

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