The Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey reached out to the Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks, in early January. The NBA trade deadline is nearing, one can only imagine their topics of discussion. Morey played around the subject that he has contemplated to reach for some time. Eventually, the conversation reached its head. Then Morey asked intriguingly about Nets guard James Harden, as a result, Marks responded flatly “No”.
This game of cat and mouse has reoccurred throughout the past several years. The direct communication between Morey and Marks this season, per ESPN, has been that the 76ixers are planning to pursue Harden, and the Nets are refusing to surrender. The trade deadline is three days out, yet, the communication has remained at the same place it was originally. While communication is open between the two, the likelihood of either team coming to a probable solution is highly unlikely.
Steve Nash says the Nets are not trading James Harden pic.twitter.com/RkfiPj1qnv
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 6, 2022
James Harden relationship with the Brooklyn Nets
Harden’s intentions represent an axis of circumstances with the Brooklyn Nets. Depending on how their partnership goes, it seems he may jump ship. Harden has emphasized his loyalty and commitment to winning with the Nets. However, his actions have shown otherwise. Harden is becoming a free agent after this season, many believe he will test the market and eventually land in a spot he feels more comfortable.
Many questioned his intentions after he had an opportunity to sign an extension last summer and refused. He’s in a position where he’s one of the few superstars that don’t need an agent, due to his options of maximum deals provided for him. He essentially picks his maximum deal options from a list and plays out the pros and cons between the options.
Ultimately, Harden didn’t sign an extension with the Nets at the end of September. As a result, this sparked tons of controversy about his future plans. Harden told Malika Andrews that he was looking forward to becoming a free agent for the first time in his career, per ESPN . Prior to that statement, he insisted that he was committed to winning a championship with Brooklyn.
The Nets struggling as a team
It’s no secret that the season hasn’t lived up to expectations, this year. Nets guard Kyrie Irving’s COVID-19 vaccination status eventually made him a part-time player in New York. Not to mention, Kevin Durant has been injured for nearly a month with his latest knee injury. Harden hasn’t played well this season either. The Nets’ top three players are struggling right now, which is why they have fallen to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. They are currently on a losing streak of eight games.
Harden has been absent due to the hamstring issues that he suffered last year in the playoffs, which seemingly have come back. However, this doesn’t excuse Harden’s past poor performances. He only scored four points in a defeat against the Sacramento Kings last Wednesday.