James Harden has reportedly expressed interest in a former team. According to ESPN, nearly two years after the Houston Rockets traded Harden to the Brooklyn Nets to join Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the superstar and his inner circle have disclosed a desire to return to H-Town.
“All-Star guard James Harden is seriously considering a return to the Houston Rockets in free agency this July,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted on Sunday (Dec. 25). If he decides against a new deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.”
“Harden and his inner circle have been openly weighing Houston in recent months, sources said. A remarkable possibility given that he requested and received a trade out of the franchise less than two years ago,” the accompanying article reads.
Sources said that despite controversially pushing his way out of the Rockets franchise in January 2021, the NBA All-Star maintained a healthy relationship with Houston’s community.
Meanwhile, the former NBA 2K cover star and the 76ers are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference after besting the New York Knicks on Christmas Day in a 119-112 win. However, as the 76ers have notched their eighth straight win, the expectation for the Philly squad has become relatively high as the season pushes on.
A deep playoff run or a first-round elimination could play a part in whether or not Harden remains in the City of Brotherly Love or exits for Space City.
The 33-year-old athlete previously signed a two-year, $68.6 million contract with the Sixers. Harden’s deal included a $35.6 million player option for 2023-24, allowing him to re-enter free agency this summer.
Harden previously spent nine seasons with the Rockets from 2012-21. The Point Guard averaged 29.6 points, 7.7 assists, and 6.0 rebounds in 621 games with Houston. During his tenure with the Western Conference franchise, the former Arizona State Sun Devil was named the NBA MVP in 2018 after leading the Rockets to a successful 65-17 record.