It looks like the James Harden experiment may be coming to an end for another team.
Last season, Harden forced his way out of Brooklyn, being traded at the deadline for a second consecutive season.
This time around, he headed to Philadelphia to team up with Joel Embiid.
Last season, the 76ers were eliminated in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs by the Miami Heat. This year, it was the Celtics that sent them home in round 2 after the 76ers blew a 3-2 lead thanks in part to Harden struggling in games 6 and 7.
After they were eliminated, the 6ers fired head coach Doc Rivers, in a move that was seemingly made to help them convince Harden to stick around for another season.
Now it looks like that plan isn’t going to work out for them and instead Harden will be bailing on yet another team.
This time around, he could at least be bailing on the 6ers for a team that he bailed on previously.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, Harden is expected to reject his player option for next season and sign with the Houston Rockets.
Sixers’ James Harden expected to reunite with Rockets in free agency, sources say https://t.co/NFOB9pyxmc via @phillyinquirer
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 19, 2023
This is a pretty surprising move for a player that has spent the past few seasons bouncing around the league in pursuit of his first ring.
A move to the Houston Rockets would just about ensure the end of his ring chase after they finished last season with just 22 wins.
Maybe he believes that he can help put the team’s young core over the top or that they’ll trade this year’s 4th pick to try and become a contender again, but it’s hard to see this team competing in the west in the next couple of seasons.
At least the move would give James Harden the chance to end his career with the team where he spent most of it.