New Report Claims Sixers Guard James Harden Has Interest In Playing In China

Tim Nwachukwu

Getty Image / Tim Nwachukwu

The James Harden-Philadelphia 76ers saga is probably the dominant story in the NBA right now. And, a new report has him linked with playing in China.

The 76ers acquired him from the Brooklyn Nets during the 2021-2022 season to pair with James Harden in the hopes they could win a championship together. But, things have taken a turn since the team’s exit in the NBA playoffs.

The 76ers led the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals three games to two, with game six back at home in Philadelphia. But, two embarrassing losses later, and the team was eliminated once against in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Since then, James Harden, who signed a two-year extension with the 76ers last year, has demanded a trade, and trashed general manager Daryl Morey publicly. Harden and Morey have history, as the two spent parts of eight seasons together in Houston from 2012-2013 to 2019-2020.

Trade options are, frankly, slim for an aging guard who isn’t great at defense and has caused serious headaches for teams for a decade. The future Hall of Famer has many asking questions if he can actually win an NBA Championship.

How about Chinese Basketball Association championship. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it’s something Harden is interested in. He’s currently in China to promote his wine. Here’s more on a potential future for the guard in China.

Since arriving in China, Harden also expressed to fans a desire to play a season there.

“Every time I come here, the love is just like … it’s crazy, you know what I mean?” he said. “So I feel like they deserve to actually see me come play here. … Love is always crazy here.”

But playing in China might not be as easy as Chinese fans would like if Harden isn’t traded to another NBA team soon and remains adamant about not playing for the Sixers.

According to the collective bargaining agreement, any player who “withholds playing services for more than 30 days after the start of the last season covered by his contract” could be deemed to have violated his contract and forbidden from entering free agency and signing with another professional team until the team he last played for “expressly agrees otherwise.”

Frankly, I’m sick of hearing about him. If he wants to play in China, so be it.