1. Harden is aging
The main reason why Houston should avoid signing Harden this summer is because of his age and constant struggle to enter the season in shape. During his last season in Houston, he entered training camp out of shape.
Toward the end of his tenure with the Rockets, he practically gave up on the team and refused to play. During his first season with the Nets, he joined the team out of shape and forced himself out of Brooklyn.
The Beard would eventually snap back into shape toward the end of his first season with Philadelphia post-trade and entering his second season with the team. This season, he is averaging 21.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 10.8 assists (1st in league) per game.
Evidently, the 6-foot-5 guard's numbers have declined due to him deferring to Embiid. But Harden has gotten use to deferring and not having to take over games.
JH signing in H-Town may not provide the sequel that everyone is expecting because of the current roster build, his age, and the wear and tear on his body. He has not had to take on the scoring load in two seasons.
The Beard will be 34 before the 2023-24 season starts and there is no guarantee that he will be able to continue to play at a high level.
Harden staying in Philadelphia may be his best bet for a title and fulfillment.