James Harden has become the ultimate example of how to gain leverage from an employer. Harden has now requested a trade from three consecutive franchises and he got his way with the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets.
Harden is now demanding a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, who aren't inclined to grant his request, as a Harden trade would eliminate any title aspirations. Harden has made it known that he wants to go to the LA Clippers in particular, which hurts his chances of getting sent there.
When a team has knowledge that a player only wants to be dealt to them, they don't necessarily have a reason to put their chips on the table to complete the deal because they're essentially bidding against themselves. The Clips-Sixers saga is proof of that, as the Clippers have decided against parting with Terance Mann in any Harden deal.
But make no mistake: Harden could care less about the reasons for a deal not taking place. He wants one thing and one thing only: to get out of Philadelphia.
On Monday, it was reported that Harden is seeking to make life miserable for the Sixers and will eventually report to training camp.
Just like he did in Houston.
Latest James Harden news shows he may be on the brink of applying same strategy that he once used on Rockets.
And the latest Harden sighting removes all doubt about this being his approach moving forward.
Matt Tynan is a credentialed media member who used to write for The Athletic, so there's no questioning his credibility or downplaying the situation (sorry, Harden stans). To be clear, Harden didn't have any known injury when he last took the court, but that was five months ago.
It's certainly possible that he suffered an injury at some point along the way. But that seems like something we would've heard through national media outlets. It's more likely that Harden is employing the same get-out-of-town strategy that he utilized during his Rockets days.
And if this is the case, he's just getting started.
As I wrote before, good luck, Sixers.