Could Knicks re-enter James Harden sweepstakes amid 76ers drama?

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers, knicks, james harden
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks might once again be in the position to acquire the star Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden, following Harden’s recent strong statements about 76ers President Daryl Morey.

Harden’s Comments About Daryl Morey

At an Adidas press event in China, Harden left no doubt about his intentions regarding his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. He took direct aim at 76ers President Daryl Morey, declaring, “Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”

These assertive comments emerged after the 76ers officially announced the end of trade talks concerning the 10-time all-star, with the hope that Harden will continue his pursuit for a championship alongside Joel Embiid.

The Morey-Harden History: A Complex Relationship

Morey and Harden’s relationship spans many years. Morey served as the General Manager of the Houston Rockets from 2007 to 2020, where Harden played for nine seasons (2012-2021). Upon being named the President of Basketball Operations for the 76ers in November 2020, Morey orchestrated a trade for Harden in February 2022, aligning him with perennial MVP candidate Joel Embiid.

However, after two seasons of failing to progress beyond the second round of the playoffs, Harden’s dissatisfaction with the 76ers became evident. Despite the team’s announcement that they’ve ceased trade discussions, Harden’s latest remarks could potentially reignite trade talks.

The Knicks and Harden: A Potential Match

The Knicks, initially one of the primary contenders to acquire Harden earlier in the offseason, could find themselves back in the spotlight if trade conversations resume.

A trade sending Harden to the Knicks would forge a potent scoring backcourt with Jalen Brunson. While Harden’s talent is unquestionable, concerns about his commitment level and chemistry-building ability persist. A trade would make the Knicks the third team Harden has played for since 2021.

New York Knicks’ Perspective: Assessing the Trade Potential

If the 76ers opt to re-evaluate trade alternatives for James Harden, the Knicks are likely to be significantly involved in the discussions. The decision by Leon Rose and the Knicks’ management to execute such a trade is still up in the air. However, the prospect of adding Harden presents an exciting opportunity for the Knicks moving forward.

By maintaining an attentive eye on the unfolding situation and evaluating the possible benefits and risks, the Knicks continue to position themselves as a key player in the ongoing Harden saga.

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