Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid hopes that James Harden changes his mind after the 10-time NBA All-Star pick demanded a trade away from the Wells Fargo Center. Harden had exercised his option for 2023-24 but then requested a trade, citing concerns about the roster as his reasoning.
It’s a decision that didn’t sit well with current NBA MVP Embiid, who is hoping that things can be resolved, stating that he was ‘disappointed’ with the decision before telling the media: “It’s business. I’m more appreciative of the way he’s handled the whole situation. We’re going to be boys forever. I want him to come back, obviously, so that we can go out and accomplish what we want, which is to win a championship. So hopefully, his mindset can be changed.”
Harden has proven something of a headache in recent years, leaving the Houston Rockets for the Brooklyn Nets in January 2021 only to then leave for the 76ers a year later. He played his part in helping the 76ers to the post-season in his two seasons with the team, and one wonders if his likely departure will impact the PA sports betting odds on Philadelphia looking to secure their first NBA title since 1983.
Embiid’s additional comments seem to suggest that he’s not all that hopeful that Harden will change his mind; the 29-year-old Cameroon star going on to add: “We’re close, and we’ve grown since he got here. I’m excited to keep that friendship for the rest of our lives.”
A lot has happened since the end of the season with Philadelphia letting go of coach Doc Rivers and hiring Nick Nurse to replace him at the helm.
Philadelphia 76ers legend Charles Barkley, who spent eight years with the team between 1984 and 1992, has made his feeling about the situation very clear in interviews with the media and social media posts.
“It’s time for the Sixers to move off of James Harden. It’s time for them to make that trade and turn the team over to Joel and Maxey. James has been a MVP player for years, but I think it’s time for him for them to make the best trade possible.”
The outspoken pundit went on to add: “Nobody wants to give James a long-term contract. I think that’s the real reason, and I hope the Sixers don’t give him a long-term contract, but I think he wants a long-term deal, and I don’t think at this stage of his career—because he’s only going to get older. That’s the holdup.